Importance of Community Vigilance on Licensing Applications

Backdated from previous BA website

Local authorities are not able to accept late complaints from local residents on premises licences, a judgement in the Court of Appeal confirmed last week.

The binding ruling involved London’s Albert Hall, which applied for a variation of its licence in May 2009, to allow boxing tournaments. Originally there were no residents’ objections during the legal 28-day consultation period, meaning the licence could be granted without a hearing.

However, some local residents sought a judicial review on the granting of the licence complaining that Westminster City Council failed to properly notify them of the proposed changes.

In 2010, the residents won a High Court order to end licensing approval for the sport at the venue. The knock-on effect was that some local authorities began to allow late complaints against premises licences, outside the 28-day period.

However, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton dismissed the complaints, saying that residents couldn’t overturn the 28-day deadline.

Binding ruling
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser legal editor Peter Coulson said: “Some local authorities have allowed late representations.
“But this ruling is confirmation from the highest level that they will not be able to do this. The judge reversed the decision of the High Court and said ‘no’ the licence should not be quashed.
“There have been some cases where councils have accepted late objections so this is important.
“The decision means that the idea of late representations being allowed has been finally rejected, and that residents must keep their eyes open for applications properly made in their own neighbourhood, and not rely on other people informing them about it. This is an important confirmation. It is a binding ruling.”

•    By Peter Coulson & Michelle Perrett
•    18/04/2011 07:57
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser
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