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Obtaining a premises licence with a 6am trading in a cumulative impact zone

Our London-based licensing solicitors advised on this Southwark nightclub

People dancing in a nightclub

Fun until 6am. Our licensing solicitors obtained a 6am premises licence in a cumulative impact area.

There are hundreds of areas across England and Wales which now have ‘cumulative impact zones’. Sometimes called special policy areas or stress zones.

Simply put, council licensing teams who are responsible for these areas have decided that there are too many issues caused by licensed premises. As a result, these teams will not grant new premises licences or variations for later hours. That is, unless you can prove that your premises is an exceptional case and will not add to the existing problems.

Here is an example of how our licensing solicitors obtained a new, late licence in such a zone.

  • Operator: Corsica Studios, London
  • Application: New premises licence for a night club with a 6am close time
  • Cumulative impact zone: Peckham, London Borough Southwark   

The licensing legal problem

Corsica Studios wanted to convert disused railway arches in Peckham into a nightclub. They wanted live bands, art and performance. And of course, the sale of alcohol. Therefore, a new premises licence was needed.

This was challenging as the premises were in the heart of Southwark’s Cumulative Impact Zone. Plus, nightclubs are viewed as ‘alcohol focused’ with the highest impact on communities. Making it far less likely that a premises licence would be granted.

We knew that the application would receive representations (objections) from:

  • police
  • environmental health
  • Southwark’s licensing authority, and
  • members of the public / local residents

And representations, if not withdraw, mean a licensing hearing would be needed to decide the fate of the application.

The legal value we added:

To minimise the impact of the hearing on the premises licence application, we negotiated extensively with all parties prior to submitting the application. We also worked with the client to gather support from local residents.

This included leading nightclub and cultural figures and a BBC Radio DJ.

There is a 28-day consultation period after a premises licence application is submitted.

During this time we negotiated away a noise representation from environmental health.

At the same time, we continued to reassure the police that there would be very little chance of potential crime and disorder.

Result to the application

Despite this the hearing took place in Southwark and the new premise licence was granted, with only a minor condition over the use of club scan for checking IDs.

Obtaining a new premises licence with a 6am closing in a Cumulative Impact Zone in London is a fantastic achievement. And one the client was thrilled with.

This application was managed by our London licensing team. This includes licensing solicitors David Inzani, Lisa Inzani and Felix Faulkner. Along with paralegals Kerry McGowan and Thomas Harvey.

To see how our teams could help you, contact the London office on 0203 859 7760 or Nottingham on 0115 953 8500.

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