The City Council have provided some advice for residents wishing to object to a licensing application.
ADVICE FROM BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL LICENSING OFFICE
FOR THOSE RESIDENTS WHO WISH TO OBJECT TO A LICENSING APPLICATION
By post to: PRINCESS HOUSE, PRINCESS STREET, BRISTOL BS3 4 AG
Telephone: 0117 9142500 Fax: 0117 9142515
Licensing Act 2003
Information for local residents
Making Representations to applications
Background to Licensing Act 2003
The Licensing Act 2003 has created a single licensing system for supply of alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment, which is managed by the Licensing Authority which in effect is Council for the area where the premises are located.
How do I find out if my local pub has applied for a new licence or a variation of their existing licence?
Applicants are required to advertise their application both on site and in a locally circulated newspaper. The site notice must be on pale blue paper and be displayed from the day after the application is submitted for 28 consecutive days. A newspaper notice must be printed within 10 working days from the day after the application is submitted.
The 28 day period after the application has been submitted is referred to as the representation period
Objections to applications are referred to as representations.
Therefore representations to applications may only be submitted within the representation period.
Both the newspaper and site notices must provide a brief description of the nature of the application, the last date for representations to be submitted and details of the address for representations.
The Licensing Authority is also required to provide a register of current applications which is available online at www.bristol.gov.uk/licensing and is updated on a daily basis. The register provides details of the premises address, a brief description of the application and details of the representation dates. Guidance – Residents Version 1.2 Last updated 13.03.2015
How do I submit a representation?
Representations must be sent to the Licensing Authority and be received within the prescribed timescales, i.e. by midnight on the representation end date. It may be submitted either by letter or email and should include your name and postal address. We require these details to contact you regarding hearing arrangements.
What should I include in my representation?
Representations may be submitted by any persons and will only be accepted if the contents relates to at least one of the four licensing objectives.
The four licensing objectives of Licensing Act 2003 are:
The Prevention of Crime and Disorder
The Prevention of Public Nuisance
The Protection of Children From Harm
What happens after I have submitted a representation?
On receipt of your representation the Licensing Authority will endeavour to acknowledge receipt.
The Licensing Authority has to be satisfied that the content of the representation relates to at least one of the licensing objectives and that the representation is not considered to be irrelevant, frivolous or vexatious.
Under The Licensing Act 2003 once a representation has been received the application must go before the Licensing Committee for determination.
Applicants are provided with a copy of your representation and under the Licensing Act 2003 a person submitting a representation has no statutory right to anonymity. However the Secretary of States guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 states at paragraphs 9.26-9.29:
"9.26 In exceptional circumstances, persons making representations to the licensing authority may be reluctant to do so because of fears of intimidation or violence if their personal details, such as name and address, are divulged to the applicant.
9.27 Where licensing authorities consider that the person has a genuine and well-founded fear of intimidation and may be deterred from making a representation on this basis, they may wish to consider alternative approaches.
9.28 For instance, they could advise the persons to provide the relevant responsible authority with details of how they consider that the licensing Guidance – Residents Version 1.2 Last updated 13.03.2015
objectives are being undermined so that the responsible authority can make representations if appropriate and justified.
9.29 The licensing authority may also decide to withhold some or all of the person’s personal details from the applicant, giving only minimal details (such as street name or general location within a street). However, withholding such details should only be considered where the circumstances justify such action."
If you consider exceptional circumstances apply in your instance please advise this office in writing (email or letter) and the matter will be considered. If it is not considered exceptional circumstances apply we will give you the opportunity to withdraw your representation before your details are disclosed to the applicant.
How do I know when the application is being heard by the Licensing Committee?
A hearing notice will be sent out to you prior to the hearing advising of the time, date and location of the hearing. There is also a section on the notice that you must return to the Licensing Authority which advises whether you wish to attend the hearing.
What if I cannot attend the hearing or wish someone to attend on my behalf?
Licensing Committee members are provided with copies of all representations prior to the hearing and all representations will be considered whether or not any relevant persons can attend.
If you wish for someone to attend the hearing in your absence please notify the Licensing Authority and provide the name of your representative.
What happens at the hearing?
Any relevant persons that have made representations will be given the opportunity to speak at the hearing.
After everyone has had the opportunity to speak the Licensing Committee will then determine the application. They may be minded to;
Grant the application as applied for
Grant the application subject to additional conditions or reduce the times for licensable activities applied for
Refuse the application
Can anyone attend the hearing?
The hearing is a public meeting therefore anyone can attend the hearing. Guidance – Residents Version 1.2 Last updated 13.03.2015
However only those individuals that have submitted representations to the application may speak and present their case at the meeting.
What happens after the hearing?
A decision notice will be drawn up which details the outcome of the hearing and lists the conditions and licensable activities that have been granted at the hearing. A copy of the decision notice will be sent to all relevant persons that submitted representations.
Can I appeal against a decision made by the committee?
On receipt of the decision notice any relevant persons may appeal against the decision of the Licensing Committee.
Appeals must be lodged with the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receipt of the notice. Please contact the Magistrates Court for details of how to lodge an appeal.
The information in this guidance was accurate when produced (the above was updated 13.03.2015), , but you are always advised to seek your own legal advice should you have any queries and you should note that the Council cannot be liable in any way for the contents of this guidance.
A link to this guidance can be found on the Bristol City Council licensing website here.