PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
On 25 April 2012, the following amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 came into force:
The Licensing Authority became a Responsible Authority for premises and club premises applications and will have the power to refuse, remove or review a licence without representation from the Police or other Responsible Authority.
Primary Care Trusts and Local Health Boards also joined the list of Responsible Authorities and are able to make representations regarding licensing application and apply for reviews, even though the licensing objectives have not been revised to include health.
The term 'interested parties' has been replaced by 'any other person' meaning that anyone can voice objections regardless of geographic vicinity, however any such objection must relate to one or more of the licensing objectives.
The Secretary of State has been required to make changes to the Licensing Act Regulations 2005 requiring the Licensing Authority to advertise applications 'in a manner which is prescribed and is likely to bring the application to the attention of the persons who are likely to be affected by it'.
All current applications can be found on our Current Licensing Applications page.
'Necessary' has been replaced with 'appropriate' in relation to the steps a licensing authority may take when determining applications / requests for review.
The Police and Environmental Health Officers are now able to object to TENS where they consider that the proposed activities are likely to undermine a licensing objective.
Conditions may be applied to TENS if the Authority considers it appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives to do so, providing the conditions are also imposed on a premises licence or club premises certificate that has effect in respect of the same premises, or any part of the same premises, as the temporary event notice, and the conditions would not be inconsistent with the carrying out of the licensable activities under the temporary event notice.
Time limits relating to TENS have been relaxed, including the duration of activities which has increased from 96 hours to 168 hours.
The fine for persistent underage sales has doubled from £10,000 to £20,000, and the new legislation makes it easier to shut down businesses found to be persistently selling alcohol to those under 18.
The new legislation also increases the period of voluntary closure, as an alternative to a fine, from 48 to 336 hours.
Premises licences and club premises certificates will be suspended on failure to pay the annual licence fee, although exceptions are built in to allow for administrative error, disputes and a 'grace period'.
Licensing Policy Statements will be reviewable every 5 years (section 122 of the PRSR Act).
Alcohol Disorder Zones have been repealled.
There is a requirement that the Secretary of State reviews the effect of the these amendments on the scheme established by the Licensing Act 2003 five years after their commencement.
The Home Office are currently consulting on the secondary legislation for EMROs and the Late Night Levy. Further information in relation to locally set fees is expected to follow later in the year.
The Government has also announced that the forthcoming alcohol strategy, expected to be published in the coming months, will set out the government's plans to tackle excessive alcohol consumption and the wide range of harms that alcohol causes.
Early morning alcohol restriction orders will be a new facility for licensing authorities providing the statutory process is followed, and may be applied to different types of premises, between the hours of midnight and 6am.
Provisions have been added to introduce a 'late night levy' which would be intended to cover the costs of policing and other arrangements for the reduction or prevention of crime and disorder, in connection with the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6 am. A licensing authority may not decide that 'the late night levy requirement is to apply in part only of its area'.
It could cost businesses between an additional £299 and £4,440 each year for their premises licence, if they operate after midnight depending on the non-domestic rateable value.
Subject to ministerial approval, the Licensing Authority will have the power to set fees on a cost-recovery basis. The costs may also include the costs of acting as other responsible authorities under the Act, e.g. planning authority. However, there will be a consultation on this matter and the minister has indicated that the new fee structure is unlikely to fully take effect until 2013.
Page last reviewed 27 April 2012