Objections over licence to sell gin and tonics at Northowram Scarecrow Festival

Objections to the applications have been raised by Calderdale Councils Environmental Health department
Objections to the applications have been raised by Calderdale Councils Environmental Health department

A man has applied for permission to sell gin and tonics during this year’s Northowram Scarecrow Festival.

But it has attracted an objection from Calderdale Council’s Environmental Health department and the application will be considered by councillors at a hearing next Wednesday, April 24.

Mr Peter Speight has applied to Calderdale Council’s Licensing Sub-committee for a temporary event notice to sell gin and tonic on his premises at Rowan Way, Northowram, from noon to 6pm on May 3, 4 and 5 only – the festival runs from May 4 to 6, 2019.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about this year's Northowram Scarecrow festival
The location of the event is the garden of residential premises during the festival where it is intended gin and tonic and some food will be served, says the briefing report to councillors.

The Environmental Health Service has objected to the application on grounds of prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance, three of four council licensing objectives.

Mr Speight says in his application: “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.”

Mr Speight says his home has a rear graden with good, safe access and egress. His application also gives a business name of Speight’s Gin.

But lodging the objection, Senior Environmental Health Officer Ryan Carroll, who is Acting Principal Environmental Health Officer, says the council understands Speight’s Gin is produced in residential premises but does not have relevant planning approval for an industrial use, if gin has been made there for at least in excess of 28 days a year, and the authority is unaware of the safety of the premises or any public liability insurance for patrons accessing the premises during the event.

There is no indication how numbers or behaviour would be controlled, says Mr Carroll, who said there were also traffic concerns and that the event was “open air” which might lead to excessive noise.

“I believe it is unreasonable for local neighbours and other residents of the cul-de-sac to face the potential for disruption and disturbance in this location over that timescale,” he said.

Councillors will decide whether to allow the temporary events licence or reject it.