Making a representation or reviewing a premises licence

Who can make a representation?

All applications for new licences or club certificates, or to vary existing licences or certificates are subject to public consultation. Any person is entitled to make a representation in respect of the application whether or not they live in the vicinity of the premises.

How do I find out about applications?

  • public notices will be displayed at or near any premises which are the subject of the licence application
  • check the local newspapers
  • via our PublicAccess database

How do I make a representation?

Your representation must be made in writing to the licensing manager and must relate to at least one of the licensing objectives.

We’re required to provide applicants with copies of all relevant representations that have been made in respect of their application. Applicants will therefore receive a full copy of your representation including your personal information.

You’ll be invited to attend a public hearing where the application will be determined.

You have 28 days after an application is submitted to the Licensing Authority to lodge your representation. 

Your representation must be made in writing to the Licensing Manager and must relate to one or more of the licensing objectives:

-           The prevention of crime and disorder

-           The prevention of public nuisance

-           Public safety

-           The protection of children from harm

 If your comments do not relate to any of these objectives it cannot be considered

Read our guidance notes for more information.

How do I make a complaint?

If you wish to make a complaint about a licensed premises, or report unlicensed activities or breaches of the terms and conditions of a licence, please contact us.

If a licensed premises has been causing issues for a prolonged period, you may wish to request a review of the licence.
 

A guide to a review of a premises licence/club premises certificate

This guidance describes how to apply for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate, under the Licensing Act 2003.  It also contains information about the hearings process that follows.

A responsible authority or any other person may apply for a review of a licence or certificate that is in force.  We may reject the application for review we are satisfied that the grounds for review are not relevant to one or more of the licensing objectives: 

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

We can reject any ground for review from an individual if we consider it to be frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.

What does frivolous or vexatious mean?

Frivolous or vexatious will bear their ordinary meaning.  Whether representations are frivolous or vexatious will be for the licensing authority to determine. For example, the licensing authority might find the representations were vexatious if they arise because of disputes between rival businesses or frivolous if they clearly lacked seriousness. 

What does repetitious mean?

A repetitious representation is one that is identical or substantially similar to:

A ground for review in an earlier application, which has already been determined (our register of licences will include all applications for reviews made to us in the past)

Representations considered by us when the premises licence was first granted

Representations made when the application for the premises licence was first made and were excluded because of the prior issue of a provisional statement

In addition to the above grounds, a reasonable interval has not elapsed since an earlier review of the grant of the licence

The review process is not intended to be used simply as a second bite of the cherry following the failure of representations to persuade us on earlier occasions.  It is for us to judge what should be regarded as a “reasonable interval” in these circumstances.  However, the Secretary of State (in guidance to licensing authorities) suggests that more than one review from an interested party should not be permitted within a period of 12 months on similar grounds, save in compelling circumstances (for example, where new problems have arisen) or where it arises following a closure order.

Applicants calling for a review cannot apply for a review anonymously - even if somebody else (for example,  a local MP or councillor) is applying for a review on their behalf. If applicants are concerned about possible intimidation, they could consider asking the police, or another appropriate responsible authority to apply for a review on their behalf. 

Before applying for a review, applicants may want to consider whether their concern(s) could be effectively dealt with outside of the formal review process.  This could involve, for example:

  • Talking to the licence or certificate holder to determine whether there are any steps they may be willing to take to rectify the situation
  •  Asking us to talk to the licensee on your behalf
  • Asking your local MP or councillor to speak to the licence or certificate holder on your behalf
  • Talking to the relevant responsible authority (for example, environmental health in relation to noise nuisance, or the police in relation to crime and disorder) to determine whether there is other legislation that could help resolve the issue 

Things you may want to consider when seeking a review:

  • It may be helpful to get the backing of other people living, or businesses operating in the vicinity of the premises, or other responsible authorities
  • Look at our official records about the premises kept in the licensing register. This will show you if other people have made representations or asked for a review of a premises in the past
  • If you are thinking of raising a petition, it is important to include names and addresses and indicate clearly on what grounds a review is being applied for. It would also help if a spokesperson could volunteer to receive details about the hearings from us and may be willing to speak on behalf of the petitioners at the hearing.
  • If you want to ask another person such as an MP or local councillor to represent you at the review, it is advisable to make such a request in writing so that the individual can demonstrate he or she was asked.  It will be a matter for the MP or councillor to decide whether they should agree to your request. They are not obliged to do so, however, most elected representatives are happy to help residents with this sort of issue, and there is no requirement for them to live in the vicinity of the premises in question for them to be able to make representations on behalf of residents that do. It should be noted that councillors who are part of the licensing committee hearing the application will not be able to discuss the application with you outside the formal hearing, so it is suggested that you do not approach them to try to.
  • For individual incidents, try to get as much information as possible about any official response (for example, police being called out).
  • You may also be able to back up your application with data such as crime statistics. However, it should be noted that conditions attached to licences cannot seek to manage the behaviour of customers once they are beyond the direct management of the licence holder and his/her staff or agents, but they can seek to control the behaviour of customers on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the premises as they seek to enter or leave.
  • If there is general noise nuisance on streets because of licensed premises, you will probably need to show how it relates to the specific premises.
  • It is important to be able to back up your claims. You could do this by keeping a diary over a period of time, for example. Sound or video recordings may also be helpful. It may also be a while before any hearing, so it is good to keep a clear record.
  • Residents or businesses applying for a review following a particular incident should be cautious, as a licensee may argue that this was a one off problem that can be rectified without a review.  
  • Have a good idea how you’d like the situation to be resolved. 

 

Applying for a review

An application for the review of a premises licence or club premises certificate must be given in writing and be in the prescribed application form, which is available to print or download on our  link to application form (already on the page)

 

What happens after a request for a review has been made?

We must advertise requests for a review of a licence or certificate.  We will do this by displaying a notice at the premises that is subject to review for 28 days.  Other interested parties and responsible authorities then have this period of 28 consecutive days starting the day after the day on which the application was given to make representations about the review. 

If the request for a review is not rejected then we must hold a hearing to consider the application.  We will write to you with the date and time of the hearing and will inform you of the procedure to be followed at the hearing.

As the person or body requesting the review, you are required to give notice to the licensing authority at least five working days before the start of the hearing, stating:

  • Whether you will attend the hearing in person
  • Whether you will be represented by someone else (for example, councillor / MP / lawyer)
  • Whether you think that a hearing is unnecessary (if, for example you have come to an agreement before the formal hearing)
  • Any request for another person to attend the hearing, including how they may be able to assist us in relation to the application

You must let us know as soon as possible (by written notice no later than 24 hours before the start of a hearing, or orally at the hearing) if you want to withdraw your application.

Hearings

Hearings will generally be held in public, unless we decide it is in the public interest to hold all, or part of the hearing in private. We will ensure that a record is taken of the hearing.

Hearings will normally take the form of a discussion and will consist of three district councillors (this will be a licensing sub-committee drawn from the 15 councillors who make up our licensing and enforcement committee). We will explain the procedure and determine any request for additional persons to appear at the hearing.  The sub-committee will consider evidence produced in support before the hearing and can consider evidence produced by a party at the hearing, but only if all parties agree.  Further evidence can also be produced if this was sought for clarification of an issue by us before the hearing. Cross-examination of another party during a hearing is not allowed, unless we think it necessary. The parties are entitled to address the sub-committee and will be allowed equal time to address the sub-committee and, if they have been given permission by the sub-committee to do so, they will be given equal time to ask any questions of any other party. The sub- committee will disregard any information it considers to be irrelevant.

It is important that you consider what you are going to say at the hearing, as the licence or certificate holder and the committee will have seen your application for review, and may get the chance to question what you are saying.

Please note: A hearing can still go ahead in the absence of any party (for example, applicant or interested party)

What happens after a hearing?

A decision will normally be made on completion of the hearing but if no decision is made at the hearing, the sub-committee has a maximum of five days from the day or the last day of the hearing to come to a decision.  Following a review, a sub-committee may:

  • Decide that no action is necessary to promote the licensing objectives
  • Modify or add conditions to the licence
  • Exclude a licensable activity from the licence
  • Remove the designated premises supervisor
  • Suspend the licence for a period (not exceeding three months)
  • Revoke the licence

If you have any queries about applying for a review please contact us.

See our guidance on requesting a review of a premise's licence.

Application for the review of a premise licence or club premise certificate  

For more information please complete our online contact form.

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