§ MR. CHARLES FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he is aware that 290 on the 18th May the magistrates granted one licence to cover two houses, situated 140 yards apart from each other; whether he is aware that one of the aforesaid houses is situated on a portion of Whitley Links, which is used as a public park; and if he can state whether any notice was given to the public, and adjoining property owners, of any intention to apply for a licence for this latter house; and, if not, will he take such steps as are necessary to protect the interests of adjoining property owners?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
My attention had not previously been called to the case, but I am informed on inquiry that the County Justices have recently granted a licence to some premises at Whitley, consisting of two buildings which are about 100 yards apart. Both buildings stand in the same private estate, and the Justices, in coming to the decision they did, acted, I understand, on the advice of counsel. I am also informed that the usual notices required by statute were given when the provisional licence for the premises was granted in 1893; these notices do not require to be renewed when the provisional licence is made final. I have no authority to take any steps in the matter.
§ MR. FENWICK
May I ask whether it is not the fact that the plan was considerably altered for the new building after it was sanctioned by the Licensing Board, and whether it is not also a fact that the Justices refused to hear witnesses who opposed the granting of the licence on the advice of the Clerk of the Justices?
§ SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
With reference to the last Question I have no information at all. With reference to the first part it is quite true that there was substantial alteration in the premises; on that point the opinion of Queen's Counsel was taken, and it was decided that there was no such structural alteration in the premises as to prevent the licence being granted.
§ MR. FENWICK
As this is such an important question to some of my constituents I shall call attention to the question on the Estimates.