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Frequently asked questions

1. I am disturbed by noise from people leaving a bar. What can I do about it?
Depending on the type of problems caused, you can report them to the Council and/or call for a review of a licence. A review is an opportunity to ask for changes to the licence. In extreme cases, the Council can revoke a licence on review. It is good practice to try to resolve problems outside of the formal review process. We can help you with this.

2. A licensed premises near me has applied to stay open longer. I am concerned that I will be disturbed by noise. Can I comment on the application?
Yes. You are entitled to make a “relevant representation”, which the Council will take in to account when considering whether to grant the application and, if so, in what terms. We can assist you with this.

3. Where can I find out more information about an application?
You can find details of the application and important dates on the Council’s Licensing Register .

4. How can I view the licence plans?
Plan submitted with applications are not available on the Licensing Register. You can make an appointment with the Council to view the licensed plans by emailing licensing@westminster.gov.uk

5. Another betting shop wants to open in my area. What can I do?
Residents have the right to object to betting shop applications, as ‘interested parties’. The grounds for objection are different to Licensing Act 2003 applications, and the law says that Councils have to ‘aim to permit’ gambling. It is therefore important to obtain specialist advice about what you can do.

6. A lap-dancing club has applied for a sexual entertainment venue licence. Can I comment?
Yes. You can object to the application. The grounds for objection are wide, but need to be framed in accordance with the parameters in the legislation for refusing an application. Feel free to contact us for advice.

7. I have been invited to a hearing. What do I need to do? Will I be able to speak?
You will need to inform the Council that you are attending the hearing. You will then be sent a copy of the hearing papers, called the ‘Report to Licensing Sub-Committee’. This may contain proposals by the Applicant to reduce the scope of the application, or add conditions. You can speak at the hearing.

8. I am worried that I don’t have a lawyer and won’t be able to do it on my own.
You do not have to be legally represented. Having said that, it can often be helpful to have access to specialist representation. We can advise you and represent you if necessary, free of charge. Please contact us for further details.

9. A premises near me has applied for a licence to sell alcohol, but they don’t have planning permission. Does this mean that a licence cannot be granted?
No. The licence application will be considered on its own merits, and the licensing authority is not bound by decisions of the planning authority, and vice versa.

10. A restaurant near me has applied for a licence to sell alcohol to 1am. This is far too late, but I wouldn’t oppose a licence to a more reasonable hour. Is this possible?
You can comment on any aspect of the application. As well as having the power to grant the application as submitted or to refuse it completely, the Council may grant it subject to amended hours and other conditions.

11. I made a representation, but my concerns have been alleviated by changes to the application. Can my representation be withdrawn?
Yes, by contacting the Council.

12. I have been contacted by the applicant’s solicitor, who wants a meeting. Do I have to meet them?
You do not have to, but it can often be beneficial to do so in order that you can express your concerns to them directly. They may be able to propose additional conditions to address your concerns, or they may amend the hours they have asked for.

13. I have made a representation within the consultation period, but I want to submit some more evidence. Can I do this?
Yes. Any further submissions should be received by the Council in good time, preferably in time for inclusion in the Licensing Sub-Committee Report. If this is not possible, or you wish to comment on something in the Report, you can submit further evidence. The Council’s practice is that it must be received by midday on the Monday before a Thursday hearing. In theory, evidence can be submitted up until the day before the hearing, but the Sub-Committee can choose not to take it into account.