If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a licensing hearing where you were the applicant or an objector, you can appeal against our decision.
You can appeal about a decision on an application for a:
- Premises licence
- Variation to an existing licence
- Review of an existing licence
- Temporary use notice (TUN)
- Provisional statement
- Transfer of premises licence
Who can appeal against a gambling licensing decision
The applicant, any interested parties (residents or businesses) or responsible authorities (such as the police, fire service or gambling commission) have the right to appeal against our decision in the courts - provided they made relevant representations at the original application for a licence (or a variation or review of a licence).
They can appeal if they think:
- The licence should have or should not have been granted
- We should have imposed different, less or extra conditions on the licence
- There was an irregularity in our procedures and this affected the decision (for example, the licensing sub-committee failed to comply with the hearings regulations)
How to appeal
You should appeal in writing to the designated officer for the magistrates' court in the area where the premises is situated.
In Rushmoor this is usually:
Aldershot Magistrates' Court
Court House, Civic Centre, Wellington Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 1NY
DX 145110 Aldershot 4
You must make your appeal within 21 days of being formally told of our decision. If you are in attendance at the hearing when the decision is announced, the 21 days starts from this date.
The appeal must only deal with the likely impact of our decision on any of the three licensing objectives:
- preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime;
- ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and
- protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
You should contact the magistrates' court to check how to make an appeal. There is usually a fee when you lodge an appeal.
The effect of an appeal on our decision
The courts do not usually delay the implementation of the licensing decision, unless the application is for review of a licence.
Our decision will take effect immediately, until we know the outcome of the appeal.
Once an appeal has been made
The magistrates' court has three options after receiving an appeal. It can:
- Dismiss the appeal
- Substitute the decision for any other decision we could have made as the licensing authority
- Send the case back to us and tell us how to deal with it
Usually there is an initial hearing at the magistrates court. At this time the court will decide whether there is a case and whether it will hear the case or sent it back to us to deal with.
If the court decides to hear the matter itself, it will normally adjourn to a 'full hearing' date when it will have the time to decide the case.
Procedure at an appeal hearing
We, as the licensing authority, and the licence holder (or applicant) will be the 'respondents' to appeals from interested parties or responsible authorities. We will normally be present at appeal hearings.
Interested parties should contact the court to find out if they need to appear at a hearing. It may be possible for written evidence to be given to the court instead. However, magistrates' courts can insist that you attend in person, so you must seek agreement beforehand.
The person appealing would normally open the case and call his or her witnesses. However, in licensing cases, the court may invite the respondents (the licence or certificate holder) to speak first, if everyone agrees.
This is to help the court understand how we came to our licensing decision in the first place. Usually, anyone at an appeal hearing can call on witnesses to support their case (for example, other local residents or responsible authorities such as the police).
Please note that in cases where a licence applicant or licence holder appeals against our decision, any responsible authorities (such as the police) and interested parties (such as local residents) will not usually be classed as 'respondents' at appeal hearings, under the terms of the Licensing Act 2003.
However, in such cases, interested parties can ask that the court make them a respondent, or we can call on them as a 'witness' to back up the decision we made.
Standard of evidence
Appellants should seek legal representation and / or contact the relevant court for further advice.
If you appeal against our licensing decision and you are unsuccessful, the court can award costs against you. This would mean you have to pay other parties' legal costs as well as your own.
However, the Magistrates' Association and the Justices' Clerks Society have said that awarding costs for a licensing appeal should be an exception, not a rule, and any resident with reasonable grounds for an appeal should not be penalised.
What happens after the court hearing
The court tells all interested parties of its decisions, and the reasons, within three working days.
There is no further opportunity to appeal against this decision.