Events licence granted to Harpenden secondary school

The Katherine Warington School is seeking a late alcohol licence. Picture: Supplied

The Katherine Warington School is seeking a late alcohol licence. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Katherine Warington School

A Harpenden secondary school has been granted a premises licence for music and the sale of alcohol, for events that could run as late as 2am.

Officials at the Katherine Warington School, on Lower Luton Road, applied for the licence in order to run their own events and to hire out facilities for private events.

At a hearing of St Albans district council’s licensing sub-committee, councillors were told that it would ensure the PTA could run events to raise much needed funds for the school.

It was also suggested that in seeking the licence the school was “following the lead” of several other schools in the area.

A number of residents objected to the application highlighting the potential for noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour, parking issues and concerns relating to public safety.

And amongst the written objections was a suggestion that the continuous licence could allow the school to act “like a nightclub”.

Councillors considered the application in private following the meeting and decided to grant the application.

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But they have added conditions designed to ensure residents are not disturbed by noise after 11pm.

According to the licence, the school will be allowed to hold events that run until 11.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

And they will be allowed to sell alcohol between noon and 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Music – live or recorded – can be played until 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday. And on Fridays and Saturdays recorded music can be played until 11.30pm – and live music until midnight.

In advance of the hearing conditions had been agreed that  the number of outdoor events with music later than 11pm would be limited – to three events of recorded music and three live music.

But before granting the application the sub-committee added additional conditions designed to limit the impact of late night noise on residents, including that levels should never exceed 70dB over a 15 minute period at pre-agreed monitoring locations.

No music should be audible at those pre-agreed monitoring locations after 11pm on any day.

The committee's report states: “We consider the risk to the residential area is from noise late at night from the holding of events outside the school buildings as there will be no structure to attenuate the noise.

“We have addressed this in our restriction on outside events.”

The conditions attached to the licence also stipulate that the sale and supply of alcohol cannot take place on the premises while they are being used for formal education purposes.