Published: 12 March 2015
Q: I have made a variation to extend my trading hours for the sale of alcohol and I have received a representation from a resident alleging that I would be in breach of my planning permission. Is there anything I can do?
A: In order to be ‘relevant’ a representation has to be about the effect of the variation on one of the licensing objectives. If the representation simply quotes the planning permission and does not refer to, for example, crime and disorder or public nuisance, then in theory it is not ‘relevant’. However experience tells me that for political reasons, many Licensing Officers are reluctant to exclude a representation and the Guidance makes it clear that if there is an element of doubt, the Officer should err on the side of caution and allow the representation to be considered; certainly that is my experience in practice. If the resident refers to the planning permission but at the same time mentions the words ‘crime and disorder’ or ‘public nuisance’ or either of the other two objectives, then almost certainly the representation will be allowed in. Hopefully, the Licensing Committee will appreciate that the legal position is that the planning situation is irrelevant to their considerations. One tip is if you are to challenge the representation then wait until the end of the consultation period, because it not unusual for residents whose representation is not relevant to receive certain advice so that it is amended to address the licensing objectives and becomes relevant!
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