A responsible authority or interested party may apply for a review of a premises' licence or club premises certificate. Interested parties are:
When acting as a licensing authority, we must judge 'vicinity' objectively in each case.
We may reject the application for review if we are satisfied that the grounds for it are not relevant to one or more of the licensing objectives which are:
We can also reject it if we consider it to be 'frivolous', 'vexatious' or a 'repetition.' For example, we might find representations were vexatious if they arise because of disputes between rival businesses or frivolous if they clearly lacked seriousness. A 'repetitious' representation is one that is identical or substantially similar to:
The review process is not intended to be used simply as a second "bite of the cherry" after failure of representations to persuade us previously. In these circumstances, we must decide what a "reasonable interval" is. However, the Secretary of State suggests that more than one review from an interested party should not be allowed within a period of 12 months on similar grounds, except in compelling circumstance or where it follows a closure order. Interested parties cannot apply for a review anonymously as we need to be satisfied that the person who wants it lives in the vicinity of the premises and is not being vexatious. Similarly, it is important that the licence holder is also able to respond to an application for a review. If interested parties 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, interested parties may want to consider whether their concern(s) could be effectively dealt with outside the formal review process. This could involve:
It may be helpful to get the backing of other people or businesses in the vicinity of the premises or other 'responsible authorities' before you ask for a review. Seek advice from our licensing officer to see if other people have made representations or asked for a review of the premises in the past. If you are thinking of raising a petition, make sure:
It would also help if a spokesperson could volunteer to receive details about the process with us and be willing to speak on behalf of all petitioners at a hearing. If you wish to ask another person such as an MP or local councillor to represent you at the review you should make the request in writing so that they can demonstrate they were asked. It will be a matter for the MP or councillor to decide whether to agree to your request. They are not obliged to do so but most elected representatives are happy to help residents with this sort of issue. Councillors who are members of the licensing committee must be independent when hearing the matter and you should not discuss the matter with them outside the formal hearing. For individual incidents, try to get as much information as possible about any official response, such as police being called out. You may also be able to back up your application with data. However, conditions attached to licenses cannot seek to manage the customer behaviour once they are beyond the direct management of the licence holder and his/her staff or agents, but can directly impact on their behaviour when on his premises or in the immediate vicinity as enter or leave. If there is a general noise nuisance on streets because of a 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 or audio or video recordings. It may be a while before any hearing so keep a clear record.
An application for the review of a premises licence or club premises certificate must be given in writing as part of our application form. See further information on how to apply.
In the opening statement you should give the name of the person applying for the review - eg "John Smith". You should also indicate whether you are applying for the review of a "premises licence" or "club premises certificate."
This section asks for the address and some other details of the premises in the review. You are also asked to give the name and number of the premises licence holder/club. This information should be available on the "summary" of the licence or certificate, which will be displayed at the premises, in the review, or from the licensing officer.
This section asks you to indicate in what capacity you are applying for a review. As an "interested party" you must be able to tick at least one of the boxes under (1), then complete section (A) - details of individual applicant and if applicable section (B) - details of other applicant (eg another resident). An application for review of a licence or certificate must be about the effect it is having on a least one of the four licensing objectives (see above). You should state which one your application relates to. You should indicate the ground(s) for review and provide as much information as possible to support your application. You may use extra sheets of paper if necessary. Details may include dates that problem occurred and how it affected you. You should also let us know whether have made an application for a review about this premises before and give more details of any representations you have made previously about it.
If you are the person or body requesting the review, you must:
Responsible authorities may join or back up your application for review or use the opportunity to make their own application for a review on different grounds.
You must complete the check list and sign the application form. Your agent, such as a solicitor, may sign the form on your behalf provided they have authority to do so. Where there is more than one applicant, both applicants or their agents must sign the form.
The licensing officer, on behalf of the licensing authority, must advertise requests for a review of a licence or certificate. They will do this by displaying a notice at the premises subject to review and at the licensing authority offices for 28 consecutive days. We will also advertise the review on our website. Other interested parties and responsible authorities have this period to make representations about the review. If the request for a review is not rejected, we must hold a hearing to consider the application unless all parties agree this is unnecessary. For example, we may offer to try to resolve matters via a negotiated agreement outside a formal hearing. You will need to decide if this is appropriate for you but you can, of course, insist on a hearing. We will write to you with the hearing's date and time and let you know the procedure followed at the hearing:
Hearings will generally be held in public unless we decide it is in the public interest to hold all or part of it in private. A record will be taken of the hearing. Each hearing will normally take the form of a discussion. As the licensing authority, we will lead it and we will be represented by three councillors from the licensing committee. Cross examination of another party is not allowed unless we think it necessary. Parties may address us and will be given equal time to do this. If we give permission, they will also be given equal time to ask questions of any other party. We will disregard any details we consider 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 and may get chance to question what you are saying.
If no decision is made at the hearing, the committee has a maximum of five days from the day or last day of it to make a decision. It may: