Representations, reviews, complaints and appeals

Apply for a review of a licence

You can apply for a licence review if a licensed premises such as a pub, club, cafe or shop is causing problems.

What should I do if I have a problem with a licensed premises?

In the first instance discuss the issues informally with the premises licence holder. In many cases they will not be aware of the problem and this will give them the opportunity to resolve the issues.

If this does not lead to an improvement, then you should contact us. See Complain about a licensed premises for more information.

If you have tried all of the steps, and are still experiencing problems, then you may be able to review the licence.

Who can apply for the review of a premises licence?

Other persons

An individual, body or business which is not a responsible authority

A responsible authority

Police, fire authority, health and safety enforcing authority, planning authority, local authority pollution officer, person responsible for the protection of children from harm, the local weights and measures authority, licensing authority, and public health.

Grounds for the review

A review must be about the licence holder's failing to promote one or more of the licensing objectives. These are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder (for example drug-related problems, disorder, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour)
  • Public safety (the physical safety of people using the venue)
  • The prevention of public nuisance (for example noise from music, litter and light pollution)
  • The protection of children from harm (including moral, psychological and physical harm)

How to seek a review

You must apply to us using the correct application form.

  • Send the original to the Licensing Authority.
  • On the same day you must send a copy of the form, which has your name and address on it, to the holder of the premises licence or to the club in question.
  • You must also send a copy to each of the 8 responsible authorities.

Failure to notify the responsible authorities or the licence holder on the same day as us will make the application invalid.

Download the review application pack.

What happens next

We will check that the application:

  • Relates to the licensing objectives and is not 'frivolous, vexatious or repetitious'
  • Has been sent to the responsible authorities and the licence or certificate holder

If the application is not valid you will be notified by the Licensing Authority with the reasons for the decision.

If the application is valid we will advertise the application by displaying a public notice:

  • At, on or near, the site of the premises where it can be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises
  • At our offices
  • On our website

The notice will:

  • Provide details of the grounds for the review
  • Invite comments from other people and 'responsible authorities'
  • Give dates for receipt of comments. By law we must allow 28 days from receipt of the review application.

At the end of the consultation period we will send you information confirming when the matter will be decided by the Licensing Committee. The Committee will consider the application together with any relevant representations.

Notice period

By law, we have to begin a hearing within twenty working days of the last date for representations. We will give at least ten working days' notice of the date of the hearing.

Attending the meeting

The meeting is a chance for anyone who requested the review or made relevant representations to address the sub-committee directly. You or your representative must therefore be prepared to go to the Sub-Committee to present your case. Someone else (legally qualified or not) can help or represent you, if you want.

We can only consider documents produced for the first time at the hearing if everyone agrees. However additional documentation may be submitted before the day of the hearing.

Making a comment on a review application

Under the Licensing Act 2003 we can only take into account 'relevant representations'. This means a representation made by a 'responsible authority' or any other person that has been submitted within the correct timescale and which is not 'frivolous or vexatious'.

The representation must also be about the likely effect of the granting of the application on one or more of the licensing objectives. These are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder (for example drug-related problems, disorder, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour)
  • Public safety (the physical safety of people using the venue)
  • The prevention of public nuisance (for example noise from music, litter and light pollution)
  • The protection of children from harm (including moral, psychological and physical harm)

If you want to make a representation, you must do so in writing. The date by which we must receive the representation will be on the advertised notice of review. A representation can be submitted by email. In all cases the representation must include your full postal address.

Personal details

If you comments on a review application your personal details are not contained in the public documents produced for hearing, for example the report presented to the committee. However the applicant will be sent a copy of all relevant representations received in relation to their application, including names and addresses. The Council can, if requested, remove some of the personal details from a representation, for example we could remove the house number from the representation but would keep the street name and the rest of the address but only where there is good reason to do so. Bear in mind that your representation may carry less weight if your location is not disclosed.

The decision

After hearing all the facts, the Licensing Sub-Committee may:

  • Take no action
  • Modify the conditions of the licence
  • Exclude a licensable activity from the scope of a licence
  • Remove the designated premises supervisor
  • Suspend the licence for a period not exceeding 3 months
  • Revoke the licence

Getting help from your councillor

Your local councillor or Member of Parliament may be willing to represent you at the licensing hearing. You should write to them seeking their involvement so that they can show the committee that they were asked to help.

Appeal

The licensee may appeal the decision of the Sub-Committee to the Magistrates Court. If this is the case, you are likely to be asked to attend Court to give evidence. If you are aggrieved by the decision of the Sub-Committee you also have the right to appeal the decision to the Magistrates Court. See Appeal against a licensing decision for more information.