Euros semi final beer garden decision puts Warley landlord on the spot with licensing panel

A Brentwood pub is facing a review of its licence after its landlord “took his chances” that England would not need extra time to win a pivotal Euro finals match.

Paul Duley, the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor of The Brave Nelson in Warley, only had permission to keep the beer garden open until 10pm – given people had to stand in Marquees outside due to COVID restrictions – when England beat Denmark 2-1 on July 7 in this year’s Euro’s semi-final.

Brentwood Borough Council said it reminded him on several occasions of the conditions of his premises licence that meant closing the beer garden at 10pm.

The authority added this may prove problematic for matches kicking-off at 8pm and that he would need to submit temporary event notifications (TENs) in order to address this.

On July 1, Mr Duley submitted an incorrectly completed TEN for two separate matches, the semi-final on July 7 between England and Denmark and the tournament final on July 11 which England went on to lose to Italy.

The final submission had failed to provide five clear working days’ notice for the semi-final and had to be rejected and a counter notice was issued.

On July 5. Brentwood Borough Council Licensing Officer Dave Leonard  warned Mr Duley of the potential ramifications of operating in breach of his premises licence conditions and in direct disregard for the TEN counter notice being issued for the semi-final event.

In a statement to a licence panel scheduled for Monday (October 4), Mr Leonard said that “Mr Duley stated that he would be screening the event for his customers and take his chances that the match would not run into extra time”.

England won the game after Harry Kane scored the winner from the penalty spot but only a minute before the end of the first period of extra time.

The game finished just after 10.30pm.

Mr Duley later informed Brentwood Council that he had 172 customers in attendance on the night.

A recording timed at 10.48pm showed that there were still a significant number of customers standing and crowded together whilst apparently watching TV.

In a statement as part of evidence to be heard by the committee, Mr Leonard said: “On July 7 2021, despite repeated guidance being offered by the Licensing and Environmental Health teams before and during the Euros 2020 competition and, despite being made aware in no uncertain terms of the potential for serious ramifications should he fail to comply with the conditions on his premises licence, Mr Duley elected to operate in direct defiance of a local authority counter notice and so, by keeping the outside bar open after 9.30pm and the garden open after 10pm, breached the conditions on the premises licence.”

Licensing Sub-Committee can do nothing with the licence, to modify the conditions of the premises licence, to exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence, to remove the Designated Premises Supervisor, or to suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months.

Mr Duley has been approached for comment.

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter