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Residents and the Licensing System

Licensing Act 2003

Residents usually become involved in licensing issues when a premises is already causing problems, or if a premises has applied for a new licence or to change its opening hours or make other changes that may affect the local community.

Worried about a new licence or changes to a premises?

A premises licence authorises the use of a premises for licensable activities. Residents have the right to comment on applications for new premises licences and applications by existing premises to change the way they currently operate. This is called making a “representation”.

You may have received a notice from the council about an application by a premises near you. Click here for a step by step guide to the licensing process.

You can make your views known by making a formal representation. Click on the following advice guide for some general information:

Having problems with a premises?

If you are having problems with a licensed premises, you have the right to apply for a ‘review’ of the licence, where appropriate. However, an application must be supported by robust evidence of problems connected with the use of that particular premises for ‘licensable activities’, and how that impacts on the promotion of the ‘licensing objectives’. It is usually a good idea first to try to mediate with the premises management/licence holder, as problems can be resolved informally.

General information about reviews can be found here:

Please note that this is general guidance only. We can help you with the procedure and may be able to assist you with the hearing, free of charge. Reviews must have a suitable evidential basis and follow certain requirements, so it is important to keep a record and/or call the Council’s Noise Team on 020 7641 2000 when you are disturbed – you can log all problems using this print-out noise sheet.pdf. It is also a good idea to talk to fellow residents to see if they experience the same problems.

A general Guide for residents who wish to learn more about the licensing regime can be found here.docx

If you have already made a representation you will be invited to attend the application hearing, so the following general guide will be useful: hearings guide.pdf

There is a right of appeal against licensing decisions.

Feel free to contact us for assistance with your specific case, free of charge.