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Friday, 17 December 2010

King Edwards School - Planning Application

We have objected to Samuel Smiths application for the removal, in its entirety, of Condition 21 of their current planning permission which relates to limits on the patronage of the rear courtyard area. The use of this large area by excessive numbers of customers could seriously harm the amenity of the occupants of the 20-odd apartments in the immediate area. It was for this reason that TARA, together with neighbouring residents’ groups, pressed for limits to the number of patrons allowed to use this area at any one time and we believe that the Committee was right to impose this condition.

The applicants’ reference to government Circular 11/95, and their argument that Condition 21 duplicates a condition imposed under the Licensing Act 2003 is, in our view, misconceived. The existence of parallel conditions on the same premises under the planning and licensing regimes is common. Even if this were not the case we believe there is no duplication. The licence condition which requires that the rear courtyard area be ‘predominantly seated’ turns on the meaning of the word ‘predominantly’ and, as such, is open to interpretation and would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. The planning condition which refers to a maximum occupancy of the rear courtyard of 96 patrons is, by contrast, precise and enforceable.
Since the applicants’ argument relating to Condition 21 depends entirely on the existence of ‘duplication’ we believe Condition 21 should be retained in its current form.

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