A premises licence is required for any of the following:
• Retail sale or the supply of alcohol.
• Performance of a play.
• Exhibition of a film.
• Indoor sporting events.
• Boxing or wrestling events.
• Performing live music.
• Providing facilities for making music or dancing.
• Supplying hot food or drink between 11.00pm and 5.00am.
We have become the licensing authority for this area, dealing with all licensing functions relating to the above-mentioned activities. As part of our responsibility, we prepared a licensing policy. This Licensing Policy explains the factors that the council considers when examining applications for licences, and for monitoring compliance with licence conditions. This policy also explains the objectives of the council in relation to licensing.
The four main objectives, which have equal importance, are as follows:
• Prevention of crime and disorder.
• Protection of children from harm.
• Protection of public safety.
• Prevention of nuisance.
When determining applications for licences the council can only consider matters that will impact on one or more of these licensing objectives. The regime will be an opportunity for the council to rise to the challenge and continue to encourage commerce and the provision of live entertainment, whilst protecting the public.
Premises licences, once granted, will last for the life of the business and will therefore not be required to be renewed but will have to pay an annual charge. However where premises create problems which impact on the four licensing objectives (see above) anyone can ask for a licence to be reviewed by the council. If the objections are upheld the council has the power to restrict or remove conditions on the licence or revoke.
Reviews may be called, for example, where there is evidence of ongoing nuisance or where the police or council officers witness breeches of licence conditions. In any case, there MUST be evidence in support of requests for review. The council has the ability to dismiss objections that it considers “vexatious”, “repetitive” or “frivolous”.
Applications to licence premises have to be accompanied by various documentation - including a scaled drawing, and an operating schedule. The contents of Operating Schedules must detail the proposed licensable activities, including whether or not alcohol is to be sold, the type of regulated entertainment to be provided, the hours they propose to open and how they intend to satisfy the four licensing objectives.
The Licensing Act 2003 represents a unique opportunity for licensees, Police, residents, businesses and the council to work together in a partnership.