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Planning Law Solicitors

Consultation on changes to licensing regime

August 27th, 2010 by Louise Humphreys

Posted In: Licensing

Tags: licensing, consultation

The Home Office is currently consulting on changes to the current licensing regime. The consultation entitled "Rebalancing the Licensing Act" closes on 8 September 2010, so there isn't much time left to submit responses if you haven't already done so.

The government's intention appears to be to legislate as soon as possible using the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill following the close of the consultation period. The changes could have as similar an impact as when the Licensing Act 2003 first came into force.

The proposed changes include:

  • giving licensing authorities the power to refuse licensing applications or call for a licensing review without requiring relevant representations from a responsible authority.
  • changing the requirement for persons which to object to be "in the vicinity of" the premises.
  • removing the need for licensing authorities to demonstrate their decisions are necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives.
  • reducing the evidential burden of proof required by licensing authorities in making decisions on licence applications and reviews.
  • increasing the weight licensing authorities will have to give to relevant representations and objection notices from the Police.
  • simplifying Cumulative Impact Policies.
  • requiring licensing authorities to accept all representations from the police, and adopt all their recommendations, unless there is clear evidence that they are not relevant.
  • changing the definition of interested parties to include school governors, housing associations and registered social landlords.
  • enabling more involvement of local health bodies in licensing decisions by designating health bodies as a responsible authority.
  • making health a licensing objective.
  • amend the process of appeal to avoid the practise of rehearing licensing decisions.
  • repealing the power to establish Alcohol Disorder Zones.
  • overhauling the system of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) to give the police more time to object, enabling all responsible authorities to object, increasing the notification period and reducing the number of TENs that can be applied for by personal licence holders.
  • introducing automatic licensing reviews following persistent underage sales.
  • enabling local authorities to increase licensing costs so that they are based on full cost recovery, including a power to revoke licences for non-payment of fees.
  • considering whether the current mandatory licensing conditions should be removed.