Licensing

Page Last Updated at : Friday, September, 29, 2017

Licensing Act 2003 Representations

Representations may be made about applications for premises licences or club premises certificates by anyone who has concerns about an application or who is designated as a "responsible authority".

Details of service:

The Licensing Act 2003 provides a general presumption of grant of applications, subject to any representations, which may be may be in the nature of an objection to or in support of an application.

Changes made by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 have removed the test of “vicinity” from the Licensing Act 2003 and as a consequence, the categories of “interested party” or “member of the relevant licensing authority” no longer exist.

Therefore, any person is able to make representations in relation to certain types of applications. However, all representations must relate to the licensing objectives and may not be frivolous or vexatious.

How can I find out what applications have been made?

The legislation requires that public notice is given of applications for provisional statements, new, full variation, minor variation or review of licences and club certificates - notice of all these types of application must be given at the premises and must be visible from the exterior. Some types of application must be advertised in the local press and on the council's web site. However, the opportunity to make representation to an application is limited by the legislation - please see the table below:

Type of applicationNotice at premisesNotice in local newspaperNotice on the public registers pageWho can make a representation?
Provisional statementYes - applicantYes - applicantYes - Licensing TeamAny person or responsible authority
New licence/certificateYes - applicantYes - applicantYes - Licensing TeamAny person or responsible authority
Full variation of licence / certificateYes - applicantYes - applicantYes - Licensing TeamAny person or responsible authority
Minor variation of licence / certificateYes - applicantNoNoAny person or responsible authority
Review of licence / certificateYes - Licensing TeamNoYes - Licensing TeamAny person or responsible authority
Variation of Designated Premises SupervisorNoNoNoPolice only
Transfer of licenceNoNoNoPolice only
Interim authority (following insolvency)NoNoNoPolice only
Temporary Event NoticeNoNoNoPolice or Environmental Health only

Information on all applications and licences is available in our online register.

Can representations be made to every application?

No - responsible authorities and other persons may only make representations in respect of applications for the grant, variation (including minor variation), of a premises licence or club premises certificate, the grant of a provisional statement or on an application for review of a licence or certificate. Councillors have no special status over and above any other person in making representations.

This means that representations can be made to an application for a new licence or variation of an existing licence, for example, to stay open later for the sale of alcohol, entertainment or hot food and drinks.

With the exception of the Police, who can comment on all types of applications and notices, and Environmental Health, who can additionally comment on temporary event notices, no representations can be made in respect of other applications such as transfer, variation of designated premises supervisor (DPS) or temporary event notices.

Who are the responsible authorities?

The responsible authorities are:

External Agencies

  • Hampshire Constabulary

  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

  • Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service

  • Hampshire County Council Child Protection

  • The Hampshire Primary Care Trust

  • The Health and Safety Executive (where they have responsibility for health & safety at work enforcement at the premises)

  • The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (where the premises comprise a vessel)

Eastleigh Borough Council Services

  • Environmental Health

  • Planning (Development Control Unit)

Contact details for each of the responsible authorities

What can representations be made about?

Only representations that relate to at least one of the four licensing objectives can be considered. The licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder

  • Public safety

  • The prevention of public nuisance

  • The protection of children from harm

Representations must be in writing, contain your name and full address, and set out the likely effects that the grant of the application would have on the promotion of at least one of the licensing objectives, and must clearly relate to the premises for which application is being made. For example, representations on the basis of general noise and disturbance, without evidence of a causal link to specific premises, are unlikely to be persuasive.

It will be for the person making the representation to show reasons why the grant of the application is likely to have an effect on them or their business, and show authority to act if they make a representation to an application on behalf of a body representing others, such as a residents' or business association.

Petitions are unlikely to be acceptable unless every page clearly shows the reasons for the petition and each petitioner gives their name, address and signature. In any case, petitions are unlikely to carry as much weight with the Licensing Panel as letters from individuals. Individually produced representations will inevitably carry more weight than "form" letters where an individual's details have been added.

Any representation which includes material in which a third party has copyright must be accompanied by written confirmation from the copyright owner not only that you have permission to use the material but also that the borough council, as licensing authority, can publish it in connection with the application. If you do not provide these confirmations, it is unlikely that such material will be accepted

The Act also requires the council to disregard representations that are considered to be frivolous or vexatious.

What are frivolous or vexatious representations?

As a general rule, frivolous representations are likely to lack seriousness. This does not mean that a trivial complaint will always be considered frivolous, but it must relate to one of the licensing objectives and demonstrate evidence of the points made in order to be relevant.

Vexatious representations may, for example, arise because of disputes between rival businesses.

Can representations be made to every application?

No; responsible authorities and other persons may only make representations in respect of applications for the grant, variation (including minor variation), of a premises licence or club premises certificate, the grant of a provisional statement or on an application for review of a licence or certificate. Councillors have no special status over and above any other person.
This means that representations can be made to an application for a new licence or variation of an existing licence, for example, to stay open later for the sale of alcohol, entertainment or hot food and drinks.
With the exception of the Police, who can comment on all types of applications and notices, and Environmental Health, who can additionally comment on temporary event notices, no representations can be made in respect of other applications such as transfer, variation of designated premises supervisor (DPS) or temporary event notices.

Can anyone be represented at the hearing?

Yes, but they will need to specifically authorise someone to act on their behalf. Someone making a representation could ask, for example, a legal representative or friend to act on their behalf. Please note that the representative will act as an advocate for the person who made the representation - they can only present and explain the representation, and will not be able to present their own views on the application or add matters not referred to in the representation.

Who should representations be sent to?

Send your representations, in writing, which must include your name and full address, to the Licensing Team (see below). We must receive representations no later than the last date specified in the notice of application, as the legislation does not allow consideration of late representations. This date will be 28 days after the borough council received a valid application (10 working days for a minor variation or 7 days for some types of review).

What happens after representations have been made?

Representations that are irrelevant, frivolous or vexatious must be disregarded, so, on receipt, the licensing team will check that the representations can be considered. In borderline cases the representations will be placed before the Licensing Panel, which may choose not to consider them.

If your representation is not accepted as relevant or deemed to be frivolous or vexatious, the licensing team will write and tell you. The legislation does not provide any right of appeal against such a decision, other than by way of application for judicial review to the High Court.

What happens when representations are relevant?

A copy of the representation will be sent to the applicant by the licensing team and, if necessary, arrangements will be made for the council's Licensing Panel to hear the application and the representations made to it. Hearings will take place in public, although the Panel may, in certain instances, decide that it is in the public interest to hold hearings in private.

The details of all valid representations (including the names and addresses of those making representations) will be included in a report that the Licensing Team will prepare for the hearing. These reports are public documents and the borough council is required by law to publish them.

All who have made representations will be invited to attend any hearing, as will the applicant. Any person or responsible authority may be assisted or represented by any person at the hearing regardless of whether that person is legally qualified, but see the paragraph above about representatives at hearings for the restrictions.

The licensing team will notify everyone of the date and time of the hearing and provide details of the procedure to be followed at the hearing. At the hearing the panel will decide whether to grant the application in full or in part, and if granted what conditions should be imposed on the licence. The papers relating to any hearing will be published online in the Licensing Panel's pages.

Is a hearing always required?

No, it is possible for all parties to agree that a hearing is unnecessary in some cases. In such instances, and subject to the council also agreeing that a hearing is not required, the matter will be dealt with by the officers or, exceptionally, the Licensing Panel will decide the application on the basis of a written report only. In the case of an application for a review, a hearing will always be required.

Can representations be withdrawn?

Yes, by giving notice to the Licensing Team no later than 24 hours before the hearing or in person at the hearing.

Who makes the decision?

The Licensing Committee is currently made up of fifteen elected Members of the council and the Licensing Panel will comprise of any three of those Members. Although the Panel does not hear evidence on oath, as in a court, the Panel is required to determine applications in accordance with the evidence before it at the hearing.

What can applicants, responsible authorities and persons who have made representations do if they are unhappy with the decision of the Panel?

They can appeal direct to the Southampton Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the decision of the Panel. Anyone considering an appeal is strongly advised to take professional legal advice prior to commencing on this potentially costly course of action.

The West Hampshire Magistrates' Court is at 100 the Avenue, Southampton, SO17 1EY - 'phone 023 8038 4200

What if there are problems after a licence is granted?

A responsible authority or any other person can seek a review of a licence. The legislation sets out detailed requirements for reviews - follow the "Reviews" link to the left of this page for further information.

Further Information

Guidance on the responsible authorities and their roles appears below. Further guidance on representations is also available from the Home Office via the link below. Please note that these functions are administered by Southampton City Council's licensing team on behalf of Eastleigh Borough Council.


Contacting the Licensing Team

Email: liquor.licence@eastleigh.gov.uk
Telephone: 023 8083 3002 (option 4, then option 1)
Fax: 023 8083 4061

Postal address:

Licensing Team
Southampton and Eastleigh Licensing Partnership
PO Box 1767
Southampton
SO18 9LA

Personal callers:

Licensing Team
Southampton and Eastleigh Licensing Partnership
Civic Centre
Southampton
SO14 7LY

Document Exchange: DX 115710 Southampton 17

Opening hoursFind parking:

Members of the Licensing Team are normally available on weekdays at the Civic Centre, Southampton, from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 to assist personal callers. We may be available at other times by prior appointment.

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