McGregor is the owner and manager of the Braveheart Lounge, a pub in the centre of Anytown. McGregor has run the pub for twenty years, and throughout that time he has had a licence from Anytown Council to play live music until 11.00 p.m., as long as it does not exceed an agreed decibel level. The amplifier of McGregor’s sound system has a limiting device which means that it is incapable of producing noise levels in excess of the agreed limit. The fact that McGregor has music in his pub has been essential in attracting customers, and has enabled his business to survive. He has always stuck strictly to the conditions of his licence and has never received any complaints about noise or other nuisance from his premises. Recently Darcy acquired the office premises next door to the pub and converted the property to executive flats. He has been unable to sell or rent the flats and potential purchasers and tenants have been put off by the proximity of the pub and worries about noise during the evening.
Darcy’s solicitor, Jason, is a member of the Council. Fiona is Jason’s daughter. Darcy grants Fiona a tenancy at a reduced rent so that at least one of the flats will be occupied. Immediately on moving into the flat, Fiona makes a complaint to the Council about excessive noise from the Braveheart Pub at 10.30 p.m. on a Saturday night. The Council’s licensing committee meet to consider Fiona’s complaint, and decide to revoke McGregor’s music licence. They make this decision in exercise of a statutory power to revoke music licences ‘in the event of persistent infringements of the conditions of the licence’. McGregor has been given no notice of the complaint, and has not been given the opportunity to make representations in his defence. Jason is a member of the Council committee. Although he was present at the meeting, he did not participate in the discussion, nor did he vote. He did not, however, declare an interest. McGregor is bewildered by the decision and asks for the committee’s reasons. He is told that the committee does not have to give reasons. He asks if he has any right of appeal, and is told that there is none.
...Should I go back to school?