You have the right to comment if a premises or club wants to apply for a new licence (or vary an existing licence).
How to comment on a licence 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. If you want to make a representation about a current application, please use our representation form.
All current applications are shown on our current licences and applications page.
We recommend you read guidance for interested parties making a representation.
What you can comment about
The Licensing Act 2003 states that we can only take account of '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:
- Preventing crime and disorder
- Preventing public nuisance
- Ensuring public safety
- Protecting children from harm
We cannot take into account other considerations, such as competition and need.
These include the police, fire service, health and safety authority, environmental health, trading standards, planning and social services.
What happens next
We will hold a hearing of our licensing sub-committee to decide the application.
Attending the meeting
You can attend the hearing if you made relevant representations. Someone else (legally qualified or not) can help or represent you, if you want.
Addressing the meeting
All those making relevant representations can address the licensing sub-committee directly. We can only consider documents produced for the first time at the hearing if everyone agrees. However additional documents can be submitted before the day of the hearing.
As far as possible, we will remove personal details from any public documents produced for the hearing, but it is only fair that applicants are able to identify and locate those making representations.
So, unless you tell us otherwise, we will give the applicants the general location of those making representations.
Bear in mind that your representation may carry less weight if your location is not disclosed.
The licensing sub-committee decision
After the hearing the sub-committee will make its decision, and will give its reasons.
Both the applicant and anyone making representations can appeal to the local magistrates' court if they are dissatisfied with the decision.
What you can do to help your representation
The licensing sub-committee may attach more weight to those representations supported by documentary or physical evidence of any problems described.
You can support your representation by collecting as much evidence as possible to back up the points you want to make. You can do this in a number of simple ways, such as supplying:
- A diary/record of events
- Video evidence
- Sound recordings
- Supporting statements from neighbours or witnesses
- A record of complaints made to local enforcement agencies
If you collect such evidence, you need to let us know before the hearing takes place that you want to use it. You also have to agree to a copy being given to the applicant.
By law, we have to begin a hearing within 20 working days of the last date for representations. We will give at least ten working days' notice of the date of the hearing.
Other opportunities for review
The act states that any 'responsible authority' or any other person can apply for a review of a licence at any time, if a licensed premises causes problems relating to the licensing objectives.
In this case, the licensing sub-committee will hold a hearing along the lines set out above.
Find out more about how to apply for the review of a licence.