Agenda item

Application for the grant of a premises licence for RSPB St Aidan's Nature Park, St. Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Astley Lane, Swillington, Leeds, LS26 8AL

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Officer (Elections and Regulatory) regarding an application for the grant of a time-limited premises licence made by Leeds Culture Trust for RSPB St. Aidan's Nature Park, St. Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Astley Lane, Swillington, Leeds, LS26 8AL


The Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory submitted a report for Members’ consideration of an application for the grant of a time-limited premises licence made by Leeds Culture Trust for RSPB St. Aidan's Nature Park, St. Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Astley Lane, Swillington, Leeds, LS26 8AL


Attending the meeting were:

  • Matthew Phipps, TLT Solicitors – Applicant’s Representative
  • Tom Reilly, Director of Production – Leeds Culture Trust, Applicant
  • Carl Foster, Head of Visitor Experience – Leeds Culture Trust
  • Roisin Caffrey, Senior Producer – Leeds Culture Trust


The Legal Officer explained the procedure for the hearing.


The Licensing Officer presented the application informing the Members of the following points:

  • The application was for a time limited licensed event submitted by Leeds Culture Trust and was to be held at the nature park from Monday the 4th of September to Saturday the 9th 2023.
  • The site was comprised of a nature park with a visitors’ centre and stages will be set up around the site for theatrical performances as part of the Leeds City of Culture 2023. Performances were to take place outside at set points around the site.
  • Responsible authorities and Ward Members had been notified of the application, with no objections received.
  • The application had attracted objection comments from local residents, mainly based around safety and nuisance concerns.
  • The summary of the application was for provision of plays, films, live music, recorded music, dance and anything of a similar description to live music, recorded music or performances of dance Monday – Saturday 17:00 – 23:00.
  • A copy of the application form was available at appendix A, a risk assessment for outdoor events at appendix B, a noise mitigation plan at appendix C, a map of the site at appendix D, redacted copies of the representations at appendix E and a list of premises in the surrounding area at appendix F.


The applicant’s representative provided the following information:

  • The operating schedule, outlining how the licensing objectives will be upheld was available from page 103 of the report and detailed event safety, partnership and advisory group work, security and steward provision and traffic and noise management plans.
  • There was no alcohol license as part of the application and no alcohol will be permitted on site for the event.
  • Page 113 of the report detailed the risk assessment for outdoor events that had been conducted and was deemed satisfactory.
  • Page 131 of the report provided an overview of the noise mitigation plan, and a further acoustic management plan was available at supplementary information pack 2.
  • It was expected to take around 2 hours for people to walk through the park with four 20-minute activities. Pages, 132,133 and 135 of the report detailed a breakdown of the areas across the nature park where the activities would take place.
  • In response to the objection comments, it was noted the concerns were predominantly regarding the impact litter, noise and traffic may have on nature and also anti-social behaviour. Plans and partnership work with the RSPB were considered sufficient to address the concerns.
  • Supplement pack 1 detailed the events as part of the Leeds City of Culture 2023. The events at St. Aidan’s were co-produced with NEST, part of the National Youth Theatre with actors aged 17-25 performing at the event.
  • The RPSB were custodians of the site and work had been done in close collaboration to address public concern and mitigate any impact on nature.
  • Page 15 of supplement pack 1 detailed food and drink provision, noting no glass or single use plastic were to be used and the model promoted sustainable arts.
  • Page 17 of supplement pack 1 outlined parking and site access, page 19 site safety, page 21 a safety management plan and page 23 was an objection matrix and how concerns were addressed.
  • 25 letters had been sent to objectors with the aim to mitigate concerns and encourage engagement with the event.
  • Page 46 of supplement pack 1 outlined stakeholder engagement noting all the partnership work and community engagement that had been conducted, as well as a transport and water safety plans. Page 51 detailed the nesting bird mitigation plans and on page 55 was a letter of support for the event by an RSPB site manager.
  • Supplement pack 2 was the noise management plan and guidance for dealing with any complaints during and after the event.
  • The planning was considered to be mindful of the area and it was noted that the lack of responsible authority objection was positive.
  • The following paragraphs from the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy should be seen as relevant to consideration of this application;

o  1.5 – Overall encouragement of the licensing objectives.

o  2.1 – Leeds as a significant European city.

o  2.5 – Knowledge of the local area.

o  2.11 – Diverse events.

o  3.8 – Child friendly.

o  4.6 – Early consultation.

o  4.7 – Risk assessment.

o  4.23 – Varied consultation.

o  4.30 – Child safety.

o  5.15 – Group agency work.

o  5.32 – Mitigation of concerns.


Responding to questions from Members the Sub-Committee were informed of the following by the applicants and their representative:

  • The application had not been submitted under a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) as there were an expected 500 customers and 200 performers attending which exceeds the 499 capacity of a TEN.
  • The RPSB were the landowner, but all events were run through Leeds City of Culture 2023 staff.
  • A young person’s license was not required as all performers will be over the age of 17.
  • No alcohol will be allowed to be brought on the site, for sale or personal consumption.


In summing up, the applicant’s representative outlined the following:

  • The application was considered to be well planned, and grant of the license was legitimate.
  • The concerns were speculative and the risk of not promoting the licensing objectives were low given the sound planning and consultation process.


RESOLVED – To grant the license, as applied for.


Supporting documents: