Review of a premises licence
Reviewing a Premises Licence
Occasionally things may go wrong once a licence has been granted. In the first case, we strongly advise you to talk to the manager of the premises first to try and arrange an informal resolution; we can help with this if asked.
If you have a complaint about any activities allowed under a licence, our licensing team will be pleased to help you try and resolve it. Some complaints may not be the Council’s responsibility to deal with, but we can advise you who would be the most appropriate agency in those cases.
Any person, regardless of their proximity to the licensed premises, or responsible authority (including the licensing authority) can ask for a licence to be reviewed if they feel that the operation of the premises is having a negative impact on the licensing objectives, but you are advised to contact the Licensing Team before making your request for a review.
Reviews allow a Licensing Sub-Committee to look at the licence again. If necessary the Sub-Committee can change the licence conditions or permitted activities or, in extreme cases, can suspend or revoke the licence.
A request for a licence review must be made on the official form, which is available to download below. Once the request has been made, the licensing authority must advertise it for 28 days to allow anyone else to also submit comments.
Making a representation
How do I know what’s happening?
When an application to review a premises licence is received, the Licensing Authority has to place a pale blue notice at the premises with details of the application where it can be easily seen from the outside for 28 consecutive days. We must also advertise the application in a local newspaper or similar publication.
Who can comment?
Any person can comment on applications. Organisations such as residents’ associations, schools, chambers of commerce or parent-teacher associations can also comment.
‘Responsible authorities’ can comment on applications. These are statutory authorities and consist of the Police, Fire Service, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Planning Authority, Local Safeguarding Children Board and the Primary Care Trust. The licensing authority itself is also a responsible authority.
You can ask someone – such as a friend, your Ward Councillor or a lawyer – to represent you if you wish, but you do not have to do so.
How do I make my comments/objection (Representation)?
Representations must be in writing and must include your name and address. It may be easier for you to use the Representation Form which may either be requested from the Licensing team via email or found in the link below. *No representation can be accepted without addresses and contact details nor can we accept anonymous representations*
When do I comment?
You have a very short time in which to comment on an application to review a premises licence, your comments must be received by the licensing authority no later than 28 days after the authority receives the application.
The licensing authority has no discretion to accept comments outside of this time, and these periods are set in the Licensing Act 2003.
Your representation must ensure the points mentioned below are addressed and your full name and postal address are included on the representation.
Representations must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives of crime prevention, public safety, public nuisance and child protection and how one or more of these objectives have been undermined since the issue of the licence:
- The prevention of crime and disorder. This relates to any crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour at the premises or related to the management of the premises. A licence holder/applicant cannot generally be held responsible for the conduct of individuals once they leave the premises;
- Public safety. This relates to the safety of the public on the premises, i.e. fire safety, electrical circuitry, lighting, building safety or capacity, and first aid.
- Prevention of public nuisance. This can relate to issues such as hours of operation, noise emanating from the premises, vibrations, lighting and litter.
- Protection of children from harm. This relates to protecting children from the activities carried out on the premises whilst they are there. The law already provides special protections for children under 18 to buy alcohol.
If a representation 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 representation must be sent to the licensing authority along with the objection letter. This could be a document such as minutes of a meeting.
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 to be frivolous or vexatious.
You will be notified if your representation has been accepted or rejected on the grounds of relevance to the licensing objectives.
You may be able to resubmit your comments if there is time, but there is no right of appeal if your representation is rejected. If you need advice before making a representation please contact the Licensing Team on 01923 776611.
What happens to my representation?
The Licensing Team will initially check your representation to ensure that your comments relate to the premises which is the subject of the application and the Licensing Objectives. If your representation does not relate to one or more of the Objectives and does not relate to the premises or application in question, it will be invalid and rejected. Your representation must also be based on evidence or your experience and not on fear or speculation.
If your representation is deemed to be relevant or partly relevant, a copy will be included as evidence at a licensing sub-committee hearing. You will be invited to attend the hearing and be given the opportunity to address the committee or you may wish to instruct a representative to speak on your behalf.
The Licensing sub-Committee Hearing
The Hearing will take place before a Licensing Sub-Committee which is made up of three Councillors selected from the full Licensing Committee. All parties (the applicant, the licensee, representatives, and any responsible authority), will receive a Notice of Hearing. The Notice will set out the date, time and location and explains the procedure to be followed at the Hearing. This Notice is usually sent out at least twenty days before the Hearing. All parties or a representative will be able to address the Sub-Committee. If there are a number of representatives present, the Sub-Committee may request that a spokesperson is nominated or apply a time limit to any speakers. The decision-makers will have had the benefit of reading all the documents, including any representations, before the Hearing commences.
In making decisions the Sub-Committee will take into account all of the written and verbal evidence before them. They also have a duty to take into account the Licensing Objectives set out in the Licensing Act 2003, the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and Guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The Committee will either announce their decision at the Hearing and/or in writing within 5 working days of the date of the hearing. A copy of the Decision Notice will be distributed to all parties. If any party is unhappy about the decision, there is a right of Appeal to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of receipt of the decision. The Hearing will be conducted in accordance with the Council’s Hearings Protocol. However, the Chairman does have discretion to vary this procedure where necessary.
For more information, contact the Council’s licensing team on (01923) 776611, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you wish to speak to an officer, please contact the licensing team first to make an appointment.
Alternatively, you can visit the Home Office web site at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk