COUNCILLOR MALCOLM BROWN GIVES HIS ASSESSMENT OF THE PROPOSED “CUMULATIVE IMPACT ZONE” FOR ST AUSTELL
Cumulative Impact Zones are areas where there are considered to be so many licensed premises that collectively they can have a large impact on the local area, especially at night. There are already CIZs in the centres of Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance and Truro. Now the Public Health service is recommending that St Austell should be added to the list.
Applications for new pubs, night clubs etc. continue to be considered under normal procedures in Community Impact Zones and it is definitely not the case that there is a rigid ban on new establishments or existing ones including take aways staying open later into the night. However, the designation raises the bar and applicants have to satisfy the council that the change they want will not put at risk anti social behaviour and public safety.
The Licensing Act Committee will consider this on Tuesday (21st) and we will hear advice from the police and licensing officers as well as public health.
The night time economy in the centre of St Austell is very different from the 4 towns where a CIZ is currently in place. The night club is not as busy at present as it has been, the pubs are not doing particularly well and one, the Hop and Vine has closed and is to be converted to flats. The local view seems to be that the problems are related more to the off licences and daytime.
I have discussed the best approach with the Licensing Officers and come to the conclusion that a CIZ for St Austell should be investigated. However, because the issues are different in St Austell, I think the best way forward will be for Cornwall Council to convene a meeting of interested parties after the elections including local councillors, the Town Council, the police, the Chamber Of Commerce, St Austell Brewery and the licensed trade to go into this in detail and try to agree the best way forward.
I will be recommending this to my fellow councillors on Tuesday and hope they will agree with me.
Cllr Brown is Cornwall Councillor for St Austell Bethel and also the Chair of the Licensing Act Committee which is responsible for formulating the Council’s policies on licensed premises like pubs and off licences.