Representations, reviews, complaints, and appeals
Comment on a licence application
Under the Gambling Act 2005 you have the right to comment if an applicant wants to apply for a new licence or vary an existing licence.
How to comment on an application
You can comment on an application, either against it or in support of it. This is formally known as making a representation. If you want to make a representation, you must do so in writing and send it to us within 28 days of us receiving the application. A representation can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases the representation must include your full postal address.
Applications for a new, or a variation to an existing, premises licence must be advertised by the applicant by way of poster at the premises and an advert in a local newspaper.
If valid representations are made against the application it will have to be referred to the Licensing Committee for decision. However, objections must be based on the three licensing objectives. Your local Ward Councillor or Member of Parliament may be willing to make a representation on your behalf or represent you at the licensing hearing.
We also place details of the applications on our website. You can view all the latest licensing applications on the weekly list.
Who can comment on an application?
When considering a representation, the first thing the licensing authority should determine is whether the representation has been made by a responsible authority or interested party. Only representations from these two categories of persons are admissible. We cannot accept representations from any other person, however interested parties can be people who are democratically elected such as Councillors and Members of Parliament.
An interested party
A person is an interested party if, in the opinion of the licensing authority, they live sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the authorized activities, has business interests that might be affected by the authorized activities, or who represent such persons.
A responsible authority
The following are responsible authorities. The licensing authority, the Gambling Commission, police, fire authority, planning officer, local authority pollution officer, person responsible for the protection of children from harm, Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Customs and Excise.
What you can comment about
Under the Gambling Act 2005 we can only take into account 'relevant representations'. This means a representation made by an 'interested party' or 'responsible authority' 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:
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
- Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
- Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
We will also consider representations that raise issues under the councils Statement of Policy and Principles or the Gambling Commissions Guidance and Codes of Practice.
We cannot take into account other considerations, such as proliferation; that there are already too many gambling premises in the locality (although it may be a relevant if it points, as a result, to rises in crime, disorder, underage gambling or problem gambling), and the need for further gambling or gaming premises.
What happens next?
We will acknowledge receipt of your representation and send you information confirming when the matter will then go before the Licensing Committee. The Committee will consider the application together with any relevant representations.
We will aim to hold the hearing within 20 working days following the final date for the receipt of representations.
Attending the meeting
The meeting is heard in public and anyone may attend whether they have raised a representation or not.
Addressing the meeting
All those making relevant representations can address the Licensing Committee directly and are encouraged to do so. We can only consider documents produced for the first time at the hearing if everyone agrees. However additional documents, for example photographs, can be submitted before the day of the hearing. Someone else (legally qualified or not) can help or represent you, if you want.
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. 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. Bear in mind that your representation may carry less weight if your location is not disclosed.
After the committee has heard all parties it will make its decision. The Licensing Committee may:
- Grant the licence as applied for
- Grant the licence but modify the conditions of the licence, or reduce the hours of licensable activity
- Reject the whole or part of the application
This decision is usually made at the time of the hearing and reasons for the decision will be given.
Both the applicant and anyone making representations can appeal to the local magistrates' court if they are dissatisfied with the decision. See Appeal against a licensing decision for more information.
Once a licence is granted it is not renewed, it will last for the life of the business or until major changes to the physical layout or operation of the premises are sought. However Responsible Authorities or interested parties can apply for a review of a licence at any time, if licensed premises cause problems relating to the licensing objectives. See Apply for a review of a licence for more information.