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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

Licence Application Process

The procedure and documentation required for various applications is prescribed by the Act and Regulations made under it. Please consult these documents before making an application. Further advice on how to make an application can be found on the Council's website.

It will be the licensing authority's aim to provide an efficient and cost effective service to all parties involved in the licensing process.

The licensing authority has delegated its decision-making functions to the licensing committee, sub-committees and officers. Further information regarding the delegation of functions can found in the table at Appendix 2.

If no relevant representations are received within the consultation period then the authorisation will be issued automatically. The licensing authority will have no discretion to refuse the application or to add to conditions offered through the operating schedule, other than adding any relevant mandatory conditions.

If relevant representations are made about an application, the licensing authority will hold a hearing to consider them, unless the licensing authority, the applicant and everyone who has made representations agrees that the hearing is not necessary.

'Relevant representations' are representations:

  • about the likely effect of the premises licence on the promotion of the licensing objectives; and
  • are made by a responsible authority or other person, have not been withdrawn and, in the case of representations made by other persons, they are not, in the licensing authority's opinion, frivolous or vexatious

'Other persons' making relevant representations need not be in the vicinity of the premises. However those located a long distance away from the application premises may find it less easy to satisfy the relevant representation requirements such as representations being about the likely effect of the grant of the licence on the promotion of the licensing objectives and perhaps representations not being frivolous or vexatious. Furthermore, the licensing authority is likely to accord greater weight to representations from those in or around the vicinity of the premises than those further afield.

Where relevant representations are made, the licensing authority must hold a hearing before the licensing committee or, more usually, a sub-committee of the licensing committee, who will take such steps as it considers necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives. These steps are:

  • to grant the licence subject to the operating schedule modified to such extent as the committee considers necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives
  • to exclude from the scope of the licence any of the licensable activities to which the application relates
  • to refuse to specify a person in the licence as the designated premises supervisor
  • to reject the application

All members of the licensing committee are required to follow the Model Code of Conduct for Members that is contained within the Council's constitution when considering any application, variation or review under this Statement of Licensing Policy.

Following a hearing the Council will give comprehensive reasons for its decision in writing to all of the parties involved. On making findings of fact in its reasons, the Council will ensure that they address the need for clear and convincing evidence determined on the balance of probabilities. They will also address the extent to which the decision has been made with regard to this policy and the guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The written decision will also detail any statutory appeal mechanism along with the related time limits for making any such appeal.

Conditions

The Council may only impose conditions where relevant representations are made following an application to grant or vary a licence or where a review request is being considered.

The conditions attached to various authorisations will be focused on matters, which are within the control of individual licensees and others in possession of relevant authorisations.

The Council recognises that the only conditions that should be imposed on a licence are those which are appropriate and proportionate to the promotion of the licensing objectives. There may be circumstances where existing legislation and regulations already effectively promote the licensing objectives and no additional conditions are required.

Where conditions are imposed they will be tailored to the individual style and characteristics of the premises and events concerned.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to make early contact with the appropriate responsible authorities to discuss proposed conditions in advance of the submission of their application to the Council.

Applicants should review the four licensing objectives above, alongside the additional considerations outlined in Appendix 1 and consider addressing these issues in their operating schedule. A pool of conditions has been developed to support this process and is available on the Councils website.