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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

Integrating Other Guidance, Policies, Objectives and Strategies

The Act supports a number of other key aims and objectives which are vitally important and which should be principal aims for all involved in licensing work and will therefore be integral to this policy. These include:

  • protecting the public and local residents from crime, anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance caused by irresponsible premises
  • giving the Police and licensing authorities the powers they need to effectively manage and regulate the night-time economy and take action against those premises that are causing problems
  • reducing alcohol misuse, thereby contributing to the public health of the community
  • recognising the important role which pubs and other licensed premises play in local communities by minimising the regulatory burden on business

Encouraging innovation and tourism and supporting economic regeneration and those premises that operate responsibly.

Providing a regulatory framework for alcohol which reflects the needs of local communities and empowers local authorities to make and enforce decisions about the most appropriate licensing strategies for their local area.

Encouraging greater community involvement in licensing decisions and giving local residents the opportunity to have their say regarding licensing decisions that may impact upon them.

In supporting these key aims and objectives, the policy integrates with a number of other Council strategies and plans including:

  • Community Safety Plan (Safer Stockton Partnership)
  • Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Local Development Plan
  • Economic Regeneration Plan
  • Town Centre Plan
  • Stockton's Alcohol Strategy

The Licensing Committee may, from time to time, receive reports on other policies, strategies and initiatives that may impact on licensing activity within its remit. Subject to the general principles set out in this policy and the overriding need to promote the four licensing objectives, the Committee may have regard to them when making licensing decisions.

The Committee may, after receiving such reports, make recommendations to the Council or other bodies about the impact of the licensing policy on such policies, strategies and initiatives. Equally the Committee may make recommendations relating to such policies, strategies and initiatives on the licensing policy. This may include recommendations to amend the licensing policy itself.


The use of premises for the sale or provision of alcohol, regulated entertainment or late night refreshment is subject to planning control. Such use will require planning permission or must otherwise be lawful under planning legislation. Planning permission is generally required for the establishment of new premises or the change of use of premises.

In line with the Section 182 Guidance, the planning and licensing regimes involve consideration of different (albeit related) matters. Licensing committees are not bound by decisions made by a planning committee, and vice versa.

Where businesses have indicated, when applying for a licence under the Act, that they have also applied for planning permission or that they intend to do so, licensing committees and officers will make contact with their planning counterparts prior to determination with the aim of agreeing mutually acceptable operating hours and scheme designs.

Where relevant representations are received, any decision on a licence application will not consider whether any decision to grant or refuse planning permission or building consent was lawful and correct. Instead it will take into account what the impact of granting the application will be on the four licensing objectives.

In general, all premises which are the subject of an application, should have the benefit of planning permission, or be deemed a permitted development. The onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate that planning permission has been granted or that the premises have the benefit of permitted development rights. Failure to do so may result in representations and the licence being refused or granted subject to conditions which take account of the planning permissions in existence.

In addition, all new developments and premises which have been subject to structural alterations since 1994 will have building control approval in the form of a Building Regulations Completion Certificate. The onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate that any structural alterations have been approved by Building Control. Failure to do so may result in representations and the licence being refused or granted subject to conditions.