Our objection to the Licencing application from Market Hall, Stonebow House

Stonebow House

Submission on behalf of York Green Party of the following objections to the above licencing application. The objections are under the heading of the Council’s licencing objectives:

Prevention of Crime and Disorder

Roxy Leisure markets itself as bringing the ‘playground to the bar’ or ‘The home of booze and balls’. This is the context in which the application needs to be seen.

By encouraging drinking – arguably to excess – it is likely to encourage disorderly behaviour around the venue. This was seen at the same venue when previous clubs operated there.

The likelihood of antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood of the club is high.

This is a neighbourhood which has residential properties close by; some of these are the homes of vulnerable older residents. Their needs and interests need to be taken into account.

Prevention of Public Nuisance

Stonebow House is adjacent to a major set of bus stops for a number of regular buses. There are significant queues for these buses all day and during the evening. Being confronted by groups of people who have drunk alcohol to excess in unpleasant and potentially unsafe. The prospect of large crowds inhibiting access to the bus stops, urinating and vomiting on the pavements adjacent to the bus stops needs to be prevented. It would certainly be a public nuisance and potentially a health hazard.

It is quite clear that Roxy venues, whilst accepting smaller groups are designed for large groups – including hen and stag parties – and this is bound to involve stand up drinking and noisy behaviour spilling out into the street. The Roxy website quotes ‘massive rock and indie tunes’ and ‘any size of celebration – small to large’. Much discussion in relation to the previous application centred around the extent to which the venue will a) attract and b) be able to control large groups such as hen and stag parties. It is clear in the case of the Roxy application that they definitely want to attract such parties.

Public Safety

Both crime and disorder and public nuisances are impediments to public safety.

Protection of Children from Harm

Whilst Roxy Leisure say that some of their venues (those designated Ball Rooms) are strictly 18+ and this one would fall in this category, a venue of this size (and potential attractiveness to under 18s) would no doubt pose a risk to children. Some will try to get in and may not be prevented from doing so. Some, congregating around the venue (not least because of the bus stops and the convenience store located nearby) will be exposed to the antisocial and inappropriate behaviour which a large capacity venue of this kind selling alcohol throughout the day and evening is likely to encourage.

Cumulative Impact 

We would like to further address the issue of the cumulative impact of the licence, should it be granted. York already has a large number of venues where alcohol is served. It is a magnet for hen parties and stag dos. They, in their number and because of the type of loud, alcohol fuelled and often antisocial behavious are not universally welcomed by local residents in the city centre. This venue will increase the attractiveness of York to those kinds of events and make the situation worse, not better. The venue is located just outside of the Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ). The impact assessment for that zone shows that one of the epicentres of noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity is located within close proximity to the venue. In fact, agreeing to this license application is likely to extend the area in which such behaviour is prevalent, taking it even closer to residential areas on St. Saviougate, St. Saviour’s Place/Spen Lane/St. Andrewsgate, the Hungate development and Stonebow House itself. Whilst such a venue might be attractive to certain groups it is clearly something that will negatively impact the quality of life of York residents who live nearby.

York Green Party calls upon the Licencing Committee to refuse this application.

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