Gambling policy Part B
Developers may wish to apply to this authority for provisional statements before entering into a contract to buy or lease property or land to judge whether a development is worth taking forward in light of the need to obtain a premises licence.
In contrast to premises licence, there is no need for the applicant to hold an operating licence or have a right to occupy the premises in order to apply for a provisional statement.
S.204 of the Gambling Act provides for a person to make an application to the Council for a provisional statement in respect of a premises that he or she:
- expects to be constructed
- expects to be altered; or
- expects to require a right to occupy.
The process for considering an application for a provisional statement is the same as that for a premises licence application. The applicant is obliged to give notice of the application in the same way as applying for a premises licence. Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there are rights of appeal.
The holder of a provisional statement may then apply for a premises licence once the premises are constructed, altered or acquired. The Council will be constrained in the matters it can consider when determining the premises licence application, and in terms of representations about premises licence applications, following the grant of a provisional statement, no further representations from relevant authorities or interested parties can be taken into account unless they concern matters which could not have been addressed at the provisional statement stage, or they reflect a change in the applicant’s circumstances. In addition, the authority may refuse the premises licence (or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement) only by reference to matters:
- Which could not have been raised by objectors at the provisional licence stage; or
- Which is in the authority’s opinion reflect a change in the operator’s circumstances; or
- Where the premises have not been constructed in accordance with the plan submitted with the application. This must be a substantial change to the plan and the Council notes that it can discuss any concerns it has with the applicant before making a decision.
Section 210 of the Act makes it clear that a licensing authority must not have regard to whether a proposal is likely to be permitted in accordance with planning or building law in the case of provisional statements and premises licences.