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Update – Midlands local authority decides to let its cumulative impact policy lapse

The local authority’s licensing committee agreed not to implement a new cumulative impact policy and allow the existing policy to lapse

Nottingham City Council ‘s Licensing Committee agreed officer’s recommendations not to adopt the proposed Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) following a public consultation that took place earlier this year. As a result, the current Cumulative Impact Policy (which applies to relevant licensing applications for the sale of alcohol within the City Centre area and sale of alcohol off the premises within Radford, Berridge and Arboretum area) has been allowed to lapse.

The decision was made on the back of responses, including from us at Poppleston Allen which challenged the evidence submitted for the proposed CIA and extension of the area applicable to the policy, alongside a general view within responses that insufficient weight had been placed on the effects of the pandemic on businesses and that more general consideration ought to be given to the benefits and effects that the hospitality industry has on the wider economy and vitality of the city centre.

I understand the Council’s intention is to bring back two separate reports for each of the two areas in the spring of 2022, allowing time for a further period to reflect on the impact of the pandemic, seek industry views alongside updated evidence on the effect of a large concentration of licensed premises and crime data from the Police, which will allow a better focus and clarity on the different issues for the respective areas.

In the interim period from now until any updated CIA is adopted there will be no specific cumulative impact policy in place within the Local Authority area. As a result, the previous onus on the applicant to demonstrate a new licence or material variation relating to the sale of alcohol will not adversely impact upon the promotion licensing objectives and add to the cumulative impact in the area no longer applies. The absence of a CIA does not prevent issues of cumulative impact from being raised in representations, but the onus will now be on those making such representations to ensure that such representations are supported by appropriate evidence.

The pragmatic approach and decision taken by Nottingham will no doubt be some welcome news for existing and in-coming licensed operators within Nottingham.

For further information about this or any other alcohol licensing related advice, contact licensing solicitor Suraj Desor.

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