Why Has The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (Chapter South West Wales) Been Able To Run Without Any Local Authority Regulations Since 9th October 1999 ?

Sarah Rapley made this Freedom of Information request to Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council,

Why has the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (Chapter South West Wales) been able to run without any Local Authority Regulations since 9th October 1999 despite attempts by previous Member of Parliament Lord Peter Hain along with the current Member of Parliament Christina Rees Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in Neath having attempted, tried at some level and failed to get N.P.T. Council to at the very least acknowledge their existence and activities on record whilst the semi-detached property still remains today officially filed as purely residential ?

I look forward to your response as I wish to know their secret especially after seeing my current council tax bill.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Rapley

FOI Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received today, 5th April 2018. We are generally required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to provide you with a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before 3rd May 2018 .  If we require any clarification or further details we will contact you as soon as possible, if this is the case then the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change.  If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact this team.

FOI Team

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.
Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or amended.
Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

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FOI Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Dear Madam,

I refer to your email and Freedom of Information request.

Please supply further information to enable us to provide you with a response i.e. the address of the property concerned, any other information which you have available.

Once your response to this email is received with the further information we can proceed to action your request further.

Yours faithfully,
FOI Team

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.
Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or amended.
Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

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Dear FOI Team,

To enable you to respond may I refer you to a previous F.O.I. request sent to you dated 15th December 2017 in which you clarified on 27th February 2017 that No. 129 Heol Cae Gurwen, Ammanford, SA18 1PD is registered as residential and has been for the past 19 years.
The F.O.I. question revolved around the Member of Parliament for Neath at that time Peter Hain (now Lord) who was trying to help local neighbours.
Ref:
"LIVING HELL AT HANDS OF THE ANGELS; MP goes to war on biker gang.." The Free Library. 2001 MGN LTD 06 Apr. 2018 https://www.thefreelibrary.com/LIVING+HE...

The Council has also been given information as to why I seeked clarification on the matter as the Clubhouse wishes to expand particularly the Planning Department.

Local neighbours can confirm the Hells Angels Clubhouse has been active in their community since 1999 and also the International Organisation itself can confirm.
Ref: http://hells-angels.com/area/wales/
As can the bikers themselves on social media.
Ref: Facebook.com - " Support 81 Wales-South West"
Address on the media posts either names it as SA18 1PD or/and @Angel Place

I hope this clarifies your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Rapley

FOI Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your email of today, 6th April 2018 which I confirm has been forwarded to the relevant directorate and who will respond directly to yourself.

Yours faithfully,
FOI Team
[Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council request email]

Linda White
Gwasanaethau Cymorth / Support Services
Cyfarwyddiaeth Gwasanaethau Corfforaethol & Cyllid / Finance & Corporate Services Directorate
Rhif Ffôn / Tel No. 01639 763932

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.
Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or amended.
Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

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Steve Ball, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mrs Rapley,

 

I refer to the above matter which was the subject of your most recent FoI
request dated 5^th April 2018 (in addition to other correspondence with
Planning and other sections of this Council). I also refer to my most
recent email to you direct of 12^th April 2016 which responded to other
emails you have sent on this issue relating to our opened enforcement
investigation (but not specifically responding to your FoI request
referenced below).

 

I would advise that the following comprises our response to your FoI
request: -

 

Council Tax Matters

 

I would advise that I have engaged with my colleagues in Council Tax in
respect of your concerns over the ‘residential’ classification of the
property for Council Tax purposes, given that the building has been used
for many years in connection with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (or a
predecessor Club).

 

While I have previously advised that this is a separate matter to our
Planning enforcement investigation, so that I may respond to your request
as a whole, the Council Tax team has responded as follows: -

 

“The Valuation Office Agency are responsible for the Council Tax and
Business Rates Listings. We shall be requesting that the property
concerned be removed from the Council Tax list and added to the Non
Domestic List”.

 

Should you have any further questions in respect of Council Tax / rates,
or the history of the property, please direct them to that service.

 

Licensing

 

I am aware that you have engaged with the Chair of the Licensing Committee
in respect of such matters and she has responded to you on such matters. 
I therefore do not cover these in this reply.

 

Planning Matters

 

As previously advised, my Officers had arranged for a further visit to be
made to the property to review not only the use but alleged new
structures.  This occurred on Tuesday 17^th April 2018.  The conclusions
of this investigation (being handled separately to your FoI request) will
be reported to you shortly once we have received some further information
(it would appear that the building in the rear garden has been in
existence for in excess of four years). 

 

Nevertheless, in respect of the use of the property, I am able to advise
that all of the evidence (including your own emails/statements) support
the conclusion that the property has been continuously used as a Private
Members Club (with some associated / ancillary residential accommodation)
for in excess of the last ten years (notwithstanding its classification by
Council Tax – see above).  Accordingly, the use of the property is
considered to be immune from any enforcement action.  This means that they
would not need to apply for planning permission to retain the use, and we
are unable to take any action against its use.  The Club has been advised,
however, that they should ideally apply for a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness
of Existing Use or Development(CLEUD)’ to legally demonstrate that the use
is lawful by reason of its longevity.

 

I appreciate that this is unlikely to satisfy you insofar as your concerns
relate to why the use has been allowed to continue since 1999 – and you
feel that a planning application should be submitted - but I would further
advise that the use (based on your 1999 date) would have been lawful since
at least 2009, such that the Authority would have been unable to intervene
from a planning perspective. 

 

Regards

 

Steve Ball
 
Development Manager - Planning / Rheolwr Datblygu - Cynllunio
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council/ Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Castell-nedd Port Talbot Tel/Ffôn: 01639 686727
 

Email / E-bost: [1][email address]

 

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.

Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

 

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This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
addressed.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the
sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this
email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or
amended.

Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol
ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os
ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person
a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad
yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith
wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

 

 

 

 

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