A responsible authority or any other person can in certain circumstances apply for a review of a current premises licence or club certificate if they think the premises are failing to promote the four licensing objectives:
- the prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- the prevention of public nuisance
- the protection of children from harm
Following a review a premises may have conditions added to their licence or in extreme cases be closed down.
We can reject any ground for review from an individual if we consider that it does not relate to the licensing objectives or is frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.
What does frivolous or vexatious mean?
Frivolous or vexatious will bear their ordinary meaning. Whether representations are frivolous or vexatious will be for the licensing authority to determine. For example, the licensing authority might find the representations were vexatious if they arise because of disputes between rival businesses or frivolous if they clearly lacked seriousness.
What does repetitious mean?
A repetitious representation is one that is identical or substantially similar to:
A ground for review in an earlier application, which has already been determined (our register of licences will include all applications for reviews made to us in the past)
Representations considered by us when the premises licence was first granted
Representations made when the application for the premises licence was first made and were excluded because of the prior issue of a provisional statement
In addition to the above grounds, a reasonable interval has not elapsed since an earlier review of the grant of the licence
The review process is not intended to be used simply as a second bite of the cherry following the failure of representations to persuade us on earlier occasions. It is for us to judge what should be regarded as a “reasonable interval” in these circumstances. However, the Secretary of State (in guidance to licensing authorities) suggests that more than one review from an interested party should not be permitted within a period of 12 months on similar grounds, save in compelling circumstances (for example, where new problems have arisen) or where it arises following a closure order.
Applicants calling for a review cannot apply for a review anonymously - even if somebody else (for example, a local MP or councillor) is applying for a review on their behalf. If applicants are concerned about possible intimidation, they could consider asking the police, or another appropriate responsible authority to apply for a review on their behalf.
Before applying for a review, applicants may want to consider whether their concern(s) could be effectively dealt with outside of the formal review process. This could involve, for example:
- Talking to the licence or certificate holder to determine whether there are any steps they may be willing to take to rectify the situation
- Asking us to talk to the licensee on your behalf
- Asking your local MP or councillor to speak to the licence or certificate holder on your behalf
- Talking to the relevant responsible authority (for example, environmental health in relation to noise nuisance, or the police in relation to crime and disorder) to determine whether there is other legislation that could help resolve the issue
Things you may want to consider when seeking a review:
- It may be helpful to get the backing of other people living, or businesses operating in the vicinity of the premises, or other responsible authorities
- Look at our official records about the premises kept in the licensing register. This will show you if other people have made representations or asked for a review of a premises in the past
- If you are thinking of raising a petition, it is important to include names and addresses and indicate clearly on what grounds a review is being applied for. It would also help if a spokesperson could volunteer to receive details about the hearings from us and may be willing to speak on behalf of the petitioners at the hearing.
- If you want to ask another person such as an MP or local councillor to represent you at the review, it is advisable to make such a request in writing so that the individual can demonstrate he or she was asked. It will be a matter for the MP or councillor to decide whether they should agree to your request. They are not obliged to do so, however, most elected representatives are happy to help residents with this sort of issue, and there is no requirement for them to live in the vicinity of the premises in question for them to be able to make representations on behalf of residents that do. It should be noted that councillors who are part of the licensing committee hearing the application will not be able to discuss the application with you outside the formal hearing, so it is suggested that you do not approach them to try to.
- For individual incidents, try to get as much information as possible about any official response (for example, police being called out).
- You may also be able to back up your application with data such as crime statistics. However, it should be noted that conditions attached to licences cannot seek to manage the behaviour of customers once they are beyond the direct management of the licence holder and his/her staff or agents, but they can seek to control the behaviour of customers on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the premises as they seek to enter or leave.
- If there is general noise nuisance on streets because of licensed premises, you will probably need to show how it relates to the specific premises.
- It is important to be able to back up your claims. You could do this by keeping a diary over a period of time, for example. Sound or video recordings may also be helpful. It may also be a while before any hearing, so it is good to keep a clear record.
- Residents or businesses applying for a review following a particular incident should be cautious, as a licensee may argue that this was a one off problem that can be rectified without a review.
- Have a good idea how you’d like the situation to be resolved.
How to apply
You'll need to complete an application form and send this to us. When you send us the application form you'll need to explain the grounds for a review and give as much information as possible. Details may include, for example, dates that problems occurred and how the problem affected you. You should state whether you have made an application for a review relating to this premises before, and give the further details of any representations you have made previously relating to this premises.
You can request an application form by emailing email@example.com.
You'll need to send copies of this form and any enclosures to the responsible authorities and the premises licence or club premises certificate holder on the same day as the application is given to the licensing authority. Responsible authorities can then, if they wish, join or back up your application for review, or use the opportunity to make their own application for a review on different grounds. We also have to advertise the review to enable others to join it.
You can view details of existing premises licences, club premises certificates and a list of current applications on our licensing public register.
Any personal information which you provide will be held and used by East Devon District Council for the purpose of the licensing service to process your application for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate. Your information may also be shared within East Devon District Council for the purposes of carrying out our lawful functions. Otherwise your personal information will not be disclosed to anybody outside East Devon District Council without your permission, unless there is a lawful reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes. Your information will be held securely and will not be retained for any longer than is necessary. There are a number of rights available to you in relation to our use of your personal information, depending on the reason for processing. Further detail about our use of your personal information can be found in the relevant privacy notice.
Start the journey
More info about the journey
You'll need copies of the completed form and any enclosures to send to each of the responsible authorities and the licence holder.
What you can do if you haven't heard from us
A hearing must be heard to determine the application. If you have submitted an application for a review of a premises licence or club certificate and you have not heard from us within 7 working days, you can contact us by telephone or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an update.
What happens after a request for a review has been made?
We must advertise requests for a review of a licence or certificate. We will do this by displaying a notice at the premises that is subject to review, and at our offices, for 28 consecutive days starting the day after the day on which the application is given to us. We may also advertise the review on their website. Other interested parties and responsible authorities then have this period of 28 consecutive days starting the day after the day on which the application was given to make representations about the review.
If the request for a review is not rejected then we must hold a hearing to consider the application, unless all parties agree that this is unnecessary. For example, we may offer to try to resolve matters via a negotiated agreement outside a formal hearing. You will need to decide if this is appropriate for you but you can, of course, insist upon the hearing.
We will write to you with the date and time of the hearing and will inform you of the procedure to be followed at the hearing.
As the person or body requesting the review, you are required to give notice to the licensing authority at least five working days before the start of the hearing, stating:
- Whether you will attend the hearing in person
- Whether you will be represented by someone else (for example, councillor / MP / lawyer)
- Whether you think that a hearing is unnecessary (if, for example you have come to an agreement before the formal hearing)
- Any request for another person to attend the hearing, including how they may be able to assist us in relation to the application
You must let us know as soon as possible (by written notice no later than 24 hours before the start of a hearing, or orally at the hearing) if you want to withdraw your application.
Hearings will generally be held in public, unless we decide it is in the public interest to hold all, or part of the hearing in private. We will ensure that a record is taken of the hearing.
Hearings will normally take the form of a discussion and will consist of three East Devon district councillors (this will be a licensing sub-committee drawn from the 15 councillors who make up our licensing and enforcement committee). We will explain the procedure and determine any request for additional persons to appear at the hearing. The sub-committee will consider evidence produced in support before the hearing and can consider evidence produced by a party at the hearing, but only if all parties agree. Further evidence can also be produced if this was sought for clarification of an issue by us before the hearing. Cross-examination of another party during a hearing is not allowed, unless we think it necessary. The parties are entitled to address the sub-committee and will be allowed equal time to address the sub-committee and, if they have been given permission by the sub-committee to do so, they will be given equal time to ask any questions of any other party. The sub- committee will disregard any information it considers to be irrelevant.
It is important that you consider what you are going to say at the hearing, as the licence or certificate holder and the committee will have seen your application for review, and may get the chance to question what you are saying.
Please note: A hearing can still go ahead in the absence of any party (for example, applicant or interested party)
What happens after a hearing?
A decision will normally be made on completion of the hearing but if no decision is made at the hearing, the sub-committee has a maximum of five days from the day or the last day of the hearing to come to a decision. Following a review, a sub-committee may:
- Decide that no action is necessary to promote the licensing objectives
- Modify or add conditions to the licence
- Exclude a licensable activity from the licence
- Remove the designated premises supervisor
- Suspend the licence for a period (not exceeding three months)
- Revoke the licence
After the hearing we'll write to you with the decision.
What you can do if your application is unsuccessful
Please contact us in the first instance.
An appeal may be made against the decision by:
- the applicant for the review
- the holder of the premises licence, or
- any other person who made relevant representations in relation to the application for a review
All appeals must be made to a magistrates’ court within 21 days of notice of the decision:
North and East Devon Magistrates Court, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter, EX1 1UH
Tel: 01392 415300