Sir Michael Birt, Kt., Bailiff, and Jurats Clapham, Le Cornu, Morgan, Crill, Olsen and Blampied.
IN THE MATTER OF THE S BAR
Advocate O. A. Blakeley appeared on behalf of the Applicant Jeppeto Limited.
1. This matter has an unusual history. An application was refused by this Assembly at the last December sitting, the application being for what is now before us; in other words to extend onto the area covered by the chose publique permit outside the bar at 2/4 La Motte Street. It was refused essentially on two grounds. First, that there was a need to maintain the unloading bay and that it would therefore be contrary to the public interest to remove that during the day. The second main reason was concerned with the safety of pedestrians. The Assembly was then of the view that removing the parking bay and extending the al fresco area would make it more likely that pedestrians would step out into the road.
2. We have received rather more detailed information on this occasion than was before the Assembly on the last occasion; and having received that further information we are satisfied that the application ought to be granted. Considering first the question of the unloading bay, we have been provided with a document signed by virtually all the businesses in the area confirming that they supported the removal of the parking bay during the day; indeed a number of them clearly consider that this would be an improvement.
3. Secondly, we have been shown detailed plans and we are satisfied from that that there will certainly be no diminution in the area for pedestrians to pass the al fresco area as compared with where they would be walking now, and indeed it could be said that there is an improvement because the plans show there will be bollards during the day which will mean that the safety of pedestrians is in fact improved.
4. The only matter which has caused us to hesitate is that Mr Risoli was somebody who objected to the application last time and indeed attended before the Assembly to outline his reasons for doing so. Unfortunately he was not given notice on this occasion and we do comment that where an ex parte application is brought and it is known that somebody has objected previously, that person ought to be notified so that he has the opportunity to put his views. We have considered, therefore, whether we should adjourn this matter because the applicant failed to notify Mr Risoli on this occasion.
5. However, we have been persuaded not to adjourn it for two reasons. First, the reasons that Mr Risoli put forward last time are clearly set out in the judgment which the Assembly issued last time and we therefore are fully aware of the objections that he made. We cannot think there would be any new objections and we have of course taken those objections fully into account in reaching our decision. Secondly, we have to say that in the light of the new information it is very hard to see what valid objection there could be to the application and therefore we think the likelihood of any proper objection being successful seems very remote.
6. In all the circumstances, trying to weigh up the need for Mr Risoli to have his say and the public interest in granting the application (noting the strong wishes put forward by the Connétable, who was extremely supportive of this application) we think the balance comes down in favour of granting the application now.
7. As to conditions, they are the normal conditions applied on a chose publique permit and these include that there will be no bar on the area of land, there must be a clear division between the al fresco area and the public area so the public can pass, and that the time of operation of the al fresco area that alcohol can be served, will be the hours as authorised by the Connétable in the chose publique permit. We also have attached importance to the existence of the bollards which can be put up during the day when the al fresco area is operating and removed at night when the area will return to an unloading bay, and we certainly expect that, if requested by the authorities, the obligation for putting those bollards up and down rests with the licensee.