Published: 12 March 2021 by Suraj Desor
“Oxford City Council has made the decision to remove its existing Cumulative Impact Policy as part of its recent Statement of Licensing Policy Review, albeit potentially for an interim period only.
This decision follows on from other councils that have also recently removed their Cumulative Impact Areas. In a report to the Licensing Committee, the ongoing pandemic and the significant disruption to the night time economy was acknowledged, and that the Council’s review of the Statement of Licensing Policy and the Special Saturation Policy (Cumulative Impact Assessment) had been disrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
As a result of this Oxford have taken a pragmatic approach and re-adopted the current Statement of Licensing Policy but have removed the Cumulative Impact Policy as no realistic assessment of cumulative impact has been possible. Therefore the Central Oxford Special Saturation Policy Area and East Oxford Special Saturation Policy Area previously in place have now been removed and this is now in effect.
The Council proposes to undertake a more comprehensive and considered review later this year with new data and evidence, as well as the necessary input from the relevant authorities to consider a fresh cumulative impact assessment.
Given Cumulative Impact policies are now on a statutory footing and evidential requirements must be proven before such a policy can be adopted, and that most existing policies will have been based on evidence from before the Covid pandemic, we anticipate that further policies could be subject to review during the course of this year as the full impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector and Local Authorities is assessed.
For those councils that have reviewed and removed these areas, taking a pragmatic approach, it is most welcome by the hospitality sector that has faced the devastating impact of Covid on its business.”
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