What is a licence review?

If any licensed premises starts to cause you regular problems then you have the right to apply for the licence to be reviewed.  If your application for review is valid, the Council will advertise the review and invite representations from Responsible Authorities and any other person.  We will then hold a hearing with the Licensing Sub Committee where you can put your case.

Can I request a review of a licensed premises?

You can request a review of a licensed premises if:

  • your grounds for review relate to the failure of the premises to address one or more of the four licensing objectives and
  • your request is not repetitious, frivolous or vexatious.

What are the four licensing objectives?

  1. The protection of children from harm
  2. The prevention of public nuisance
  3. The prevention of crime and disorder
  4. Public safety

What is the meaning of “repetitious, frivolous and vexatious”?

Grounds for a review may be rejected if the Council deems them to be any of the following:

Repetitious

A complaint that is identical or substantially similar to:

  • a representation that was made when the licence was originally being decided; or
  • a ground for review that has already been considered by the Council; or
  • a representation about a provisional statement which was excluded.

Grounds for review that are rejected because they are repetitious will become valid after a “reasonable interval” has elapsed.  This "reasonable interval" will generally be 12 months, except in particularly compelling circumstances.

Frivolous

A complaint that is trivial e.g. one about a noisy New Year's Eve party at a premises that has not created any disturbance for the past 10 years.

Vexatious

A complaint that is not genuine e.g. one that is made as a result of a different dispute between neighbouring residents or businesses.

If your application for review is rejected for any of these reasons we will write to you and explain our decision and the reasons for it.  If you are unhappy with a decision you may apply to the High Court for a judicial review of the Council’s decision.

Can I apply anonymously for a review?

No.  This is forbidden under the Act.

How do I apply for a licence review?

1)  Complete an application form to request a review of a premises licence.

Explain your concerns as fully as possible and use examples if you can.

When making a decision, the Licensing Sub Committee has to look at each premises separately, so you need to be clear why this particular premises should be singled out for consideration.

You need to link the problems you are experiencing to one or more of the four licensing objectives.  For example, if you were kept awake every night by loud music, this would be to do with the prevention of public nuisance.  If you knew alcohol was being sold to under 18s, this would relate to the protection of children from harm.

Log sheets are available from licensing@bathnes.gov.uk which you can use to record any incidents of nuisance or disturbance that you experience.  This can be very useful to back up your point of view at the hearing.

You should also be able to tell us what you would like to be done about it e.g. premises closing earlier on week nights, or a noise limiter fitted to music equipment.

Remember that you can be fined up to £5,000 if you make a false statement on the application form.

It is important to remember that once a review has taken place, you may have to wait 12 months before another one can be held on the same grounds.  This means that it is important that you gather as much evidence as possible and build a strong case before requesting a review.

2)  Send copies of your application to the licence holder and the Responsible Authorities.

All the copies you send need to be delivered to the Licence Holder and the Responsible Authorities on the same day.

Your application will not be valid unless you comply with these requirements.

What will happen next?

If your application is accepted, the Council will advertise the review by putting up notices outside the premises and in the licensing office for 28 days.  This will give other interested parties the chance to have their say too.

After the 28 days, a hearing will be arranged and you will be notified of the details at least 10 working days before so that you can attend.

At the hearing, you, the licence holder and any other interested parties will get the chance to have their say.  You will need to stick to what you have written in the application form and not raise new issues or evidence.

The Licensing Sub Committee will then decide to do one of the following:

  • Leave the licence as it is;
  • Modify the licence conditions;
  • Exclude a certain activity from the licence;
  • Remove the Designated Premises Supervisor;
  • Suspend the licence for a period of not more than three months;
  • Revoke the licence.

What happens after the hearing?

You will be notified of the decision in writing and have the opportunity to appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receiving the decision.  Any decision made at the hearing will not take effect until the 21 day interval for requesting an appeal has passed, or until such an appeal has been determined.

This Guidance has been made as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted.  Full details of what you must do are in the legislation itself.

Laws can and do change.  This information was accurate when produced, but may have changed since.  We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.

This information is available in alternative formats such as large print, Braille or on audio cassette if required.  Please contact us should you require any further information or assistance.

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