The Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”) sets out a procedure whereby a responsible authority or other person may make an application to the Licensing Authority for the review of a premises licence or club premises certificate because of a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives.

In every case, the representation must relate to particular premises for which a licence or certificate is in force and must be relevant to the promotion of the licensing objectives.

The Statutory Guidance issued by the Secretary of State in accordance with the Act (“the Guidance”) considers that the procedures to allow a review of a licence represent a key protection for a community where problems associated with crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance or the protection of children from harm are occurring.

It should be noted that the Guidance recognises that the promotion of the licensing objectives relies heavily on a partnership between licence holders, authorised persons, other persons and responsible authorities in pursuit of common aims.  It is considered good practice for authorised persons and responsible authorities to give licence holders early warning of their concerns about problems identified at the premises concerned and of the need for improvement.  It is expected that a failure to respond to such warnings would lead to a decision to request a review.

Similarly, in the case of other persons, consideration should be given to whether their concerns could be effectively dealt with outside of the formal review process.  Such steps could include:

  • Talking with the licence or certificate holder to establish whether there are any steps they may be willing to take to rectify the situation.
  • Asking the Licensing Section to talk to the licence holder on your behalf.
  • Ask your local MP or Councillor to speak to the licence holder on your behalf.
  • Talking to the relevant “responsible authority” (e.g. public protection in relation to noise nuisance or the police in relation to crime and disorder) to establish whether there is other action that can be taken to resolve the problem.