Bond girls parties do not fall foul of Licensing Act

December 2007

Live event industry

Local villagers hoping to curtail ex-Bond girl Jane Seymour’s use of her mansion for private parties and corporate events have suffered a blow in court. Residents complained that gatherings at St Catherine’s Court, near Bath, have caused noise and traffic problems. and called for restrictions to be imposed on the licence, including a limit of 12 events a year, a ban on fireworks and notification when events were due to take place. The residents have taken legal action to try to get its 24-hour alcohol and entertainment licence amended But Bath magistrates said on Wednesday that traffic could not be considered a nuisance under the Licensing Act 2003 and it was made clear that private parties would not in all events be covered by the Act which only applied when alcohol was sold on the premises. The only issues which can be considered by local authorities (and the courts) when looking at licensable activities (including the sale of alcohol and the provision of regulated entertainment) are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children. It is arguable that traffic could be a public nuisance in certain circumstances. Noise can be dealt with by Local Authorities under separate legislation (Environmental Protection Act 1990 as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods Act 2005) and remedies include Noise Abatement Notices and fines for breach (up to £5,000 for individuals and £20,000 for a business).

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