Visitors old enough to drink who are going to Northowram Scarecrow Festival this weekend will be able to enjoy a gin and tonic if they wish – for some of the time – as they look around this year’s exhibits.
Calderdale Council’s Licensing Sub-committee agreed to grant a temporary event licence to Mr Peter Speight to serve G and Ts made with Speight’s Gin at his home in Rowan Way in Northowram, home from noon to 6pm on May 3, 4 and 5 – the festival itself runs from May 4 to 6, 2019.
The application had attracted an objection from Calderdale Council’s Environmental Health department but after hearing from Mr Speight and ward Councillor Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf), councillors were satisfied that licensing objectives – specifically prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and prevention of public nuisance
in the area – would not be jeopardised by granting the temporary licence.
Senior Environmental Health Officer Ryan Carroll, who is Acting Principal Environmental Health Officer, had expressed concern Speight’s Gin was being produced in residential premises but did not have relevant planning approval for an industrial use.
The authority was unaware of the safety of the premises or any public liability insurance for patrons accessing the premises during the event and there was no indication how numbers or behaviour would be controlled, argued Mr Carroll, who said there were also traffic concerns and that the event was “open air” which might lead to excessive noise.
Mr Speight had said in his application that his home has a rear garden with good, safe access and egress.
He had also explained: “We intend to invite people into our garden during the Northowram Scarecrow Festival and serve gin and tonics and some food.
“People will be able to enter my back garden and look round the flowers and scarecrows.
“The Scarecrow Festival is where the community get together, socialise and have family fun.”
After hearing from the interested parties, councillors agreed Mr Speight and Coun Baines had satisfactorily addressed the concerns which had been raised and that, in conjunction with representations and responses from Environmental Health officers, they were satisfied granting the temporary notice would not undermine any licensing objectives.
Additionally they felt it was not proportionate to issue a more legally restrictive counter notice to cover the event.