Agenda item

10.00 AM: Van Gogh Alive


Site Name & Address


Licensing Reference No.

Lancaster Gate



Van Gogh Alive
East Albert Lawns
Kensington Gardens Square

New [Time Limited] Premises Licence


*Cumulative Impact Area
** Special Consideration Zone

This will be a virtual meeting. Members of the Public can view the live broadcast using the media links on the Council’s website.



Van Gogh Alive, East Albert Lawns, Kensington Gardens Square, London SW7 2AJ


Active Sport & Entertainment Ltd [represented by Andrew Wells]

Cumulative Impact Area (CIA)/Special Considerations Zone (SCZ)

CIA:   N/A



Lancaster Gate

Summary of Application

The Premises proposed to operate as a van Gogh Digital Art Experience with a gift shop, café and bar. The application was for a time-limited licence and was proposed to end on 26 September 2021.

Representations Received

Representations were received from –

1.     The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) (subsequently withdrawn)

2.     The Environmental Health Service (EHS)

3.     A Local Resident


Presentation by the Applicant

Mr Andrew Wells, General Manager, Active Sport Entertainment Ltd, stated that the exhibition had opened on 4 June 2021 and was operating under a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). He stated that a temporary building had been constructed on the East Albert Lawn for what he described as a digitally projected immersive Van Gough experience. The main focus of the experience was a 45-50 minute loop of projected images of Van Gough’s artworks with a musical score, and an Educational Zone describing the paintings that were being projected.

As part of the Guest service, and an important part of the Exhibition’s revenue stream, was a gift shop and café. Mr Wells stated that the Exhibition had been operating with a Royal Parks Licence and in accordance with a TEN. In so doing, the organisers had worked with the Safety Advisory Group and proposed Premises Licence Conditions had been agreed with the Police.

Mr Wells stated that, in the two weeks since the Exhibition had opened, approximately 1800 visitors a day had visited the exhibition and there had been no issues regarding the operation of the exhibition. He stated that entry to the Exhibition was by timed-entry ticket only and tickets had to be purchased in advance of attending the exhibition. Approximately 125 persons were admitted to the exhibition every half hour. Therefore, over a 12-hour period, there was a steady stream of visitors.

Referring to the objection to the application by a local resident, he noted that the resident was located near to the Albert Hall and probably experienced a large exodus of patrons from the Albert Hall at the end of a performance at that venue. He stated that, given the steady stream of visitors to the Van Gough Exhibition, there was no mass exodus of customers from the Premises.

Mr Wells stated that the Exhibition itself was enclosed in a soundproof structure and, following sound tests, no sound from inside structure could be heard from a distance of about 5 to 10 metres outside the structure. In addition, there had been no issues with noise from the café and terrace area which was ancillary to the Exhibition.

In conclusion, Mr Wells stated that the organisers were happy with the Premises Licence conditions that had been agreed and which they were operating under the TEN.

In response to questions by Members of the Sub-Committee, Mr Wells provided the following information.

1.     Regarding Condition 15 set out on Page 36 of Appendix 4 of the Report by the Director of Public Protection & Licensing, which stated that –

“The provision of alcohol shall be in accordance with the relevant parts of The Royal Parks Hyde Park Alcohol Management Policy 2020 or as agreed by the LOSPG for this event”,

Mr Wells stated that the key elements were that there was always a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and/or Personal Licence Holder on the Premises [during the hours of operation]; there was a “Challenge 25” policy in place; and that the café and bar were operated by Benugo, who operated other venues within the Royal Parks as well as the cafés and restaurants other museums and galleries and were experienced in managing this type of operation.

Therefore, the purpose of the condition and the policy was to control the consumption of alcohol, which was ancillary to the Exhibition.

2.     There had been no noise complaints since the Exhibition had opened on 4 June. Last entry to the Exhibition, Sunday to Thursday, was 8 PM, with visitors staying for between one and two hours. Therefore, there was a gradual dispersal of up to 200 visitors [from 9 PM]. On Friday’s and Saturday’s, last entry to the Exhibition was 9 PM with guests leaving between 10 PM and 11 PM. In addition, there were stewards on duty to control the dispersal of guests and to direct them to the gate located south of the Albert Memorial and opposite the Albert Hall.

3.     Ticket sales were managed by Ticketmaster and were sold in advance. However, there were QR codes on display outside the Exhibition and, if someone were to scan the QR code with a smart phone, they could then book a ticket for the next available slot [using the “Fever” app]. It was estimated that, of the 1,800 visitors a day, approximately 20 to 30 casual visitors booked slots to see the Exhibition.

4.     If customers arrived early, they would be admitted to the structure where they would be directed to the café and the terrace area where they would wait until there was space in the Exhibition. Because the exhibition was operating on a reduced capacity, it was usually possible to let people who arrived early into the Exhibition upon their arrival. This allowed for a gradual flow of visitors as some visitors would arrive late.

The Chairman noted that there were some discrepancies in the numbering of the proposed Premises Licence conditions and that, if the sub-committee was minded to grant the application, it would be necessary to amend the numbering of the proposed Premises Licence conditions.

Presentation(s) by Responsible Authorities

Mr Anil Drayan, Environmental Health Officer, On Behalf of the Environmental Health Service (EHS)

Mr Drayan stated that the EHS had no objections to the application and had simply maintained their representations so that they might be able to assist the Members of the Sub-Committee should they have any questions regarding the application.

He stated that officers had visited the Exhibition before its opening to ensure that the applicant had complied with the “Works” condition proposed by EHS.

Mr Drayan noted that the Exhibition structure was opposite the Royal Geographical Society and the Albert Hall. Consequently, there were no residents facing the Exhibition structure, and there was a busy main road between the structure and the nearest residents. He confirmed that the Resident who had made a representation lived around the corner from the Royal Geographical Society and the Albert Hall and, therefore, had no direct line of sight of the Exhibition.

In conclusion, Mr Drayan stated that no noise complaints had been received relating to the Exhibition and that the applicant had complied with all the conditions proposed by EHS.

In response to questions by Members of the Sub-Committee, Mr Drayan provided the following information.

1.     The 700-person capacity of the Premises had been restricted to meet social distancing, was more than adequate for its operation.

2.     The Exhibition relied on the use of diesel generators. However, the applicant had agreed to comply with the Non-Road Mobile Emission Standards applicable to building site generators.

Mr Drayan stated that the applicant had been advised that the EHS would look to see that the applicant was implementing all measures possible in relation to air quality.

In addition, the applicant switched from using diesel generators during the day to an overnight backup battery generator which provided enough power for overnight protection.

Mr Drayan confirmed that Construction Site Regulations relating to the use of generators had been adapted by the Council and Event Organisers had been advised that they would be expected to comply with these adapted standards.

It was noted by Cllr Acton that Mr Wells had posted in the Meeting Chat that the applicant was using biodiesel to run the Exhibition’s generators. Mr Wells confirmed that the use the generators was been kept to a minimum with the generators operating from either 9 AM or 10 AM until about 10:30 PM, or 11 PM at the latest, when the battery generator would take over.

Summing Up

The Chairman then invited the parties to sum up their presentations.

Environmental Health Service

At this stage in the proceedings, Mr Drayan formally withdrew the Environmental Health Service (EHS) representations on the application by.


Having heard Mr Wells briefly sum up his presentation, the Chairman closed the live part of the meeting to allow the Members of the Sub-Committee to adjourn to consider their decision.


It was the Sub-Committee’s decision to APPROVE the application.

The Full Reasoned Decision, finalised by the Council’s Legal Officers, is attached as an appendix to these minutes.


Having read the report by the Director of Public Protection and Licensing that was before it; the written submissions of the applicant and those parties objecting to the application; and, having heard presentations and representations by, and/or on behalf of, those parties present at the proceedings, as well as the responses by those parties to questions put to them by Members of the Sub-Committee, the Sub-Committee was satisfied that, in accordance with the Home Office Guidance,[1] and on the evidence before it, it was reasonable, appropriate and proportionate, in all the circumstances, to APPROVE the application.

In reaching its decision, the Sub-Committee took the following matters into consideration –

1.     From Friday, 4 June 2021, when the Exhibition had opened, it had been operating Under a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) without complaint.

2.     The applicant had agreed the Premises Licence conditions proposed by –

(i)    The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS); and

(ii)   The Environmental Health Service (EHS)

both of which had subsequently withdrawn their representations.

3.     The Proposed Premises Licence Conditions were sufficient to promote the Licensing Objectives.

4.     The applicant was managing the Exhibition in accordance with a Parks Licence granted by the Royal Parks, and in accordance with The Royal Parks Hyde Park Alcohol Management Policy 2020.

5.     The steady dispersal of visitors from the Exhibition and the employment of stewards in the evening to guide visitors from the Exhibition to the exit nearest the Royal Albert Hall ameliorated any concerns the Members of the Sub-Committee might have had regarding noise affecting residents

6.     The EHS had visited the Premises following the opening of the Exhibition and was satisfied that the applicant was managing the Premises in accordance with the conditions proposed by the EHS and the MPS and the terms of the TEN.


1.      To grant permission for Films – (Indoors)

Monday to Sunday:     09:00 to 23:00 hours. 

There are no seasonal variations

2.      To grant permission for Live Music – Indoors and Outdoors

Monday to Sunday:     09:00 to 23:00 hours.

There are no seasonal variations.

3.      To grant permission for Recorded Music – (Indoors)

Monday to Sunday:     09:00 to 23:00 hours.

There are no seasonal variations.

4.      To grant permission for Sale by Retail of Alcohol – (On Sales)

Monday to Sunday:     09:00 to 22:30 hours.

There are no seasonal variations.

5.      To grant permission for the Hours Premises are Open to the Public

Monday to Sunday:     09:00 to 23:00 hours.

There are no seasonal variations.

6.      To grant permission for a time limited Premises Licence

To authorise licensable activities until 26 September 2021.

7.      That the Premises Licence shall be time limited to 26 September 2021 and the licensable activities so authorised shall be restricted to this date after which time this Licence shall cease and have no effect as specified in condition 44 below.

8.      That the Licence is subject to relevant mandatory conditions as specified in the agenda papers.

9.      That the Licence is subject to the following additional conditions imposed by the Committee which are considered appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives.


10.   The use of this licence shall be agreed through the Licensing, Operational and Safety Planning Group (LOSPG) process and shall have had 'no objection' raised by the representatives on the LOSPG.

11.   The Licensing, Operational and Safety Planning Group (LOPSG) shall be chaired by a representative of The Royal Parks.

12.   Membership of the Licensing, Operational and Safety Planning Group (LOSPG) shall normally consist of invited representatives of the designated event organiser, the Metropolitan Police Service, Officers of the Council from Emergency Planning, the Environmental Health Consultation Team (EHCT), London Fire Brigade, and any other appropriate and specialist advisor as required by the chairman of the LOSPG to achieve 'no objection' and to meet the objectives of the Licensing Act.

13.   Unless otherwise agreed, no later than 28 days prior to the event the Premises Licence holder must ensure a provisional Event Management Plan is presented to the members of the LOSPG for their comments.

14.   Patrons attending the site shall only be those who have pre-purchased a ticket.

15.   The provision of alcohol shall be in accordance with relevant parts of The Royal Parks Hyde Park Alcohol Management Policy 2020 or as agreed at the LOSPG for this event.

16.   Substantial food and non-intoxicating beverages, including drinking water, shall be available in all parts of the premises where alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises.

17.   A challenge 25 proof of age scheme for the sale of alcohol shall be operated at the premises where the only acceptable forms of identification are recognised photographic identification cards, such as a driving licence, passport or proof of age card with the PASS Hologram.

18.   Any special effects or mechanical installations shall be arranged, operated and stored so as to minimise any risk to the safety of those using the premises. The following special effects will only be used after prior approval from EHCT and/or London Fire Brigade where consent has not previously been given:

·       dry ice and cryogenic fog

·       smoke machines and fog generators

·       pyrotechnics including fireworks

·       firearms

·       lasers

·       explosives and highly flammable substances

·       real flame

·       strobe lighting.

19.   No person shall give at the premises any exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism, mesmerism or any similar act or process which produces or is intended to produce in any other person any form of induced sleep or trance in which susceptibility of the mind of that person to suggestion or direction is increased or intended to be increased. NOTE: (1) This rule does not apply to exhibitions given under the provisions of Section 2(1A) and 5 of the Hypnotism Act 1952.

20.   The number of persons accommodated in the premises (excluding staff) shall not exceed 700 persons at any one time.

21.   The approved arrangements at the premises, including means of escape provisions, emergency warning equipment, the electrical installation and mechanical equipment, shall at all material times be maintained in good condition and full working order.

22.   The means of escape provided for the premises shall be maintained unobstructed, free of trip hazards, be immediately available and clearly identified in accordance with the plans provided.

23.   All emergency exit doors shall be available at all material times without the use of a key, code, card or similar means.

24.   All parts of the licensed area including access and egress paths from the Park intended to be used in the absence of adequate daylight and all essential safety signage shall be suitably illuminable. Details of the locations and level of illumination must be submitted to the LOSPG or their authorised representative.

25.   Curtains and hangings shall be arranged so as not to obstruct emergency safety signs or emergency equipment.

26.   All fabrics, curtains, drapes and similar features including materials used in finishing and furnishing shall be either non-combustible or be durably or inherently flame-retarded fabric. Any fabrics used in escape routes, entertainment areas, shall be non-combustible.

27.   All fabric, including curtains and drapes used on stage for tents and marquees, or plastic and weather sheeting, shall be inherently or durably flame retardant to the relevant British Standards. Certificates of compliance must be available upon request by an authorised officer of Westminster City Council and/or The London Fire Brigade.

28.   Any moving flown equipment must contain a device or method whereby failure in the lifting system would not allow the load to fall. All hung scenery and equipment must be provided with a minimum of two securely fixed independent suspensions such that in the event of failure of one suspension the load shall be safely sustained.

29.   The certificates listed below shall be submitted to an authorised officer on request:

·       Any permanent or temporary emergency lighting battery or system

·       Any permanent or temporary electrical installation

·       Any permanent or temporary emergency warning system

·       Any ceiling inspection

30.   Flashing or particularly bright lights on or outside the premises shall not cause a nuisance to nearby properties (save insofar as they are necessary for the prevention of crime).

31.   A sufficient number of easily identifiable, readily accessible receptacles for refuse must be provided, including provisions for concessions. Arrangements must be made for regular collection. Public areas must be kept clear of refuse and other combustible waste prior to, and so far, as is reasonably practicable, during the licensed event.

32.   For licensable events the Music Noise Level shall not exceed 5dB LAeq (15 minutes) above the ambient level in the area one metre from the nearest noise sensitive façade. (Final level to be determined at time of works clearance).

33.   The minimum number of toilet accommodation shall be agreed with EHCT (final level to be determined at time of works clearance).

34.   Full structural design details and calculations of all and any structures to be erected must be submitted for approval to Westminster City Council Building Control. A certificate from a competent person or engineer that a completed structure has been erected in accordance with the structural drawings and design specification must be available for inspection prior to a relevant structure being used during the licensed event.

35.   The Premises Licence Holder must ensure that competent persons are employed to assess the electrical requirements at the event and the compatibility of the electricity supply with the equipment to be used. Appropriate safety devices (such as 30mA Residual Current Devices at Source) must be used for electrical apparatus, particularly for any electrical equipment exposed to adverse conditions or electrical equipment to be used in association with hand-held devices (e.g., microphones). The competent person must make a certificate of inspection of the electrical installation available for inspection.

36.   The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system as per the minimum requirements of the Westminster Police Licensing Team. All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition. The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises are open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises. All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 31 days with date and time stamping. Viewing of recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the entire 31-day period.

37.   A staff member from the premises who is conversant with the operation of the CCTV system shall be on the premises at all times when the premises are open. This staff member must be able to provide a Police or authorised council officer copies of recent CCTV images or data with the absolute minimum of delay when requested.

38.   A minimum of 3 SIA licensed door supervisors shall be on duty at the premises at all times whilst it is open for business.

39.   During private/corporate events the number of SIA required will be risk assessed by the management, a copy of this assessment shall be available at the premises for inspection by a Police officer and/or an authorised officer of Westminster City Council.

40.   A copy of the premises’ dispersal policy shall be available at the premises for inspection by a Police officer and/or an authorised officer of Westminster City Council.

41.   The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that the management team register and successfully complete the nationally recognised counter terrorism training product referred to as ACT eLearning package or can demonstrate that the ACT eLearning product has been successfully completed within the preceding 12 months and that all staff employed by or at the premises complete the ACT eLearning within a reasonable period not exceeding 3 months from the day, they start their employment.

42.   The Premises Licence Holder shall present the Event Management Plan (upon request) to authorised officers at least 28 days before the first event day. The Event Management Plan shall include as a minimum:

(a)     Covid-19 Statement (if appropriate);

(b)     Access Management Plan;

(c)      Adverse Weather Plan;

(d)     Alcohol Management Plan;

(e)     Cancellation Procedure;

(f)       CCTV Plan;

(g)     Communications Plan;

(h)     Child & Vulnerable Adults Policy;

(i)       Crowd Management Plan (including Security and Stewarding Plan);

(j)       Egress Management Plan;

(k)      Emergency Evacuation procedures;

(l)       Event Control Statement of Intent;

(m)   Event Medical Plan;

(n)     Event Safety Plan including Risk Assessment;

(o)     Fire Safety Management Plan;

(p)     Ingress Management Plan;

(q)     Lighting Plan;

(r)       Noise Management Plan;

(s)      Public Liability Insurance;

(t)       Security and Crime Reduction Plan;

(u)     Site Plans;

(v)      Sustainability Statement;

(w)    Terms and Conditions of Entry;

(x)      Trader Food Management Plan;

(y)      Transport Assessment;

(z)      Waste Management Plan.

43.   The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that the event is run in accordance with the Event Management Plan.

44.   No licensable activities shall take place at the Premises after 26 September 2021 for the avoidance of doubt.

The meeting ended at: 10:30 AM


Chairman:                                                                  Date:




[1] Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, April 2018

Supporting documents: