Published: 08 March 2022 by Associate Solicitor, Suraj Desor
“Following a public consultation, Leicester City Council has made the decision to remove its existing Cumulative Impact Policy covering areas of the city as part of its recent Statement of Licensing Policy Review, albeit potentially for an interim period only. The areas covered under the CIP are Churchgate, Belvoir Street, London Road / Granby Street and Braunstone Gate and these will be removed when the new licensing policy takes effect next month, in April 2022. This decision follows on from other midlands-based councils, Birmingham and Nottingham, that have also removed their Cumulative Impact Policies.
As you will be aware, Cumulative Impact areas are where a council has determined that the cumulative impact of a concentration of licensed premises in a particular area is having a serious detrimental impact upon the Licensing Objectives. However, councils are required to review their CIAs at least every three years, to assess whether the policies should be maintained, amended or removed. Leicester’s CIA was due for review and the Council was unable to gather sufficient evidence (due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic) to support the implementation of their CIP and any Cumulative Impact areas and therefore made the pragmatic decision to remove the Cumulative Impact Policy.
Instead, new Special Interest Areas have been created within the updated licensing policy which applicants must consider and make provision for in their licensing applications, these areas being:
Potential and existing licensed operators should note that with the removal of CIAs comes the removal of effectively a (rebuttable) presumption to refuse applications for a new premises licence or club certificate or material variations to existing licences (such as extended hours) where relevant objections are received, which can add an additional hurdle for operators within these areas. However, applicants in these areas should take note of the Special interest Areas and that the absence of a CIA does not prevent the responsible authorities or residents from making representations on the grounds that a premises may give rise to a negative cumulative impact in the area (albeit the onus is on them to provide evidence for such submissions).
The Council have confirmed that they will review the decision with regard to CIAs in one year’s time, gathering evidence to consider whether to re-adopt CIAs for any areas within Leicester.”
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