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This page gives information for members of the public and businesses about licence applications and information for those wishing to make representations (objections) about licensing applications.
Applications for new premises licences or applications to vary existing premises licences and club premises certificates made under the Licensing Act 2003.
Premises licences are granted to a premises to authorise one or more licensable activities. The licensable activities are as follows:
- Sale or supply of alcohol.
- Provision of 'regulated entertainment' (which includes live and recorded music, dancing, indoor sporting events, the performance of plays, and the exhibition of films).
- Provision of late night refreshment (hot food and hot drink) between 11pm and 5am.
Once a premises licence has been issued applications can be made to 'vary' the licence to amend existing licensable activities or add new ones. The applications to vary follow a similar process to the applications for new, first time licences.
We are also responsible for the grant club premises certificates to registered members' only clubs to allow club activities such as the supply of alcohol to club members and the provision of regulated entertainment. Like premises licences, club premises certificates can also be varied.
Applications can also be made for provisional statements. While not a licence as such, these statements are issued for premises that have not yet been built or premises which are about to be altered so they can provide licensable activities. The process to apply for a provisional statement is similar to that for a new premises licence.
How will I know about these licence applications?
All of the applications mentioned above will be advertised. A blue notice will be placed at or on the premises for a period of 28 days starting with the day after the application was given to the Council. A newspaper advert will also appear in a local newspaper within 10 working days of the application being given to the Council.
On what grounds can I make a representation (objection)?
Representations must be based on or one or more of the following licensing objectives:
- Prevention of crime and disorder
- Public safety
- Prevention of public nuisance
- Protection of children from harm
If having seen the notices, you are concerned that the grant of the licence would impact on one or more of these objectives you should consider making a representation.
How do I make a representation?
If you wish to object to an application for a licence, you must put your objection in writing and send it to us within 28 days of the application being served (representation due date). You must include the following information:
- Your name and signature.
- The date you wrote the letter.
- The application that you are opposed to.
- The reasons why you are opposed to the application
If an objection is being made on behalf of a group (e.g. a parish council or residents' association), then proof of the group's decision to make the objection must be sent to the us along with the objection letter. This could be a document such as minutes of a meeting.
If a petition is submitted the organiser must:
- Provide their own contact details.
- State clearly the application that is being opposed and the reason for opposition on each page of the petition.
- Ensure all names and addresses are clearly legible and preferably written in black ink.
- Show the date the signatures are collected on each page.
Representations received after the consultation period will not be considered.
Please note that we cannot accept a representation that is frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.
Frivolous or vexatious will bear their ordinary meaning. Frivolous means silly or trivial; vexatious means done to cause annoyance or distress. The licensing authority must form a view as to whether a reasonable person would consider the comments and objections to be frivolous or vexatious. A representation will be considered repetitious if it is identical or substantially similar to one already considered by the local authority in an earlier application.
What happens after I have made a representation?
We will first carry out some checks to make sure your representation meets all the requirements of the legislation. Assuming we can accept it we will then arrange a licensing committee hearing and the representation will ultimately become part of a hearing report, which is a public document. Unless there are any genuine and well-founded fears of intimidation representations will be published with names and addresses attached.
You will be invited to attend the hearing to repeat your representation although you do not have to attend. You will be sent a 'notice of hearing' document before the hearing which explains in detail what will happen at the hearing. A report giving details of the application and all valid objections will also be sent to you and the applicant prior to the hearing.
If the Licensing Authority decides that representations are relevant, it must hold a hearing to consider them. In the meantime, the Licensing Authority, the applicant and any person or body who has made representation can negotiate an agreeable way forward, and where written agreement is reached between all parties, the hearing may be cancelled.
The Licensing Authority strongly encourages all parties to mediate, and will assist, where possible, in the facilitation of mediation discussions.
Where agreement cannot be reached, the hearing will take place before a Licensing Sub-Committee, which is made up of three Elected Members from the Council’s Licensing Committee.
The applicant, persons making representation, and any responsible authority will receive a Notice of Hearing. This Notice will set out the date, time and location and explains the procedure to be followed at the hearing. The Notice will be sent out within the prescribed statutory timescales. Please note that you are required to respond to this Notice.
All parties who have submitted a representation will be able to address the Sub-Committee. No new grounds of objection may be raised at this stage and parties are limited to speaking to matters outlined in their original representation. Where you chose to use a representative, only they may speak on your behalf. However, Members may still wish to direct questions to the applicants, even in cases where they are represented.
Please be assured that if for any reason you are unable to attend the hearing, the Sub-Committee will still consider your written representation.
The Sub-Committee will normally announce their decision at the hearing, and written confirmation will be distributed to all parties following the hearing.
If any party is aggrieved by the decision, an appeal may be made to the Magistrates’ Court. An appeal has to be commenced by the appellant giving notice of appeal to the designated officer for the magistrates’ court within a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by the licensing authority of the decision which is being appealed.