Licensing policy

Licensing Hours

30.1 Licensing hours should not inhibit the development of a thriving safe night-time local economy which is important for investment and employment locally and attractive to domestic and international tourists. We will expect applicants to consider whether conditions are necessary for applications in areas which have denser residential accommodation.

30.2 We will consider individual applications on their own merits. Fixed predetermined closing times for particular areas will not form part of the policy. Restriction on trading hours will be considered only where necessary to meet the licensing objectives. There will be a presumption to grant the hours requested unless there are objections to those hours raised by responsible authorities or the public on the basis of the licensing objectives.

30.3 The commercial demand for additional premises licences (as distinct from cumulative impact) will not be a matter for us as the licensing authority. These are matters for the local planning authority and market demand.

30.4 We will normally expect to grant shops, stores and supermarkets with permission to provide sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises at any time when the premises is open, unless there are good reasons for restricting those hours. It may be appropriate for us to restrict the sale of alcohol where we have received representations about crime and disorder issues, e.g. street drinkers.

30.5 We recognise that flexible licensing hours for the sale of alcohol can help to ensure that concentrations of customers leaving premises simultaneously are avoided. Unreasonable, repetitive, frivolous and vexatious representations will be disregarded. Representations from competitors that suggest restriction on hours because further facilities for the sale of alcohol are not “needed” will be disregarded.

30.6 The Council operates an out of hour’s noise service based on the assessment of need. The nature and number of complaints are recorded and may be used when compiling reports for our licensing committee and sub committees.

30.7 Where relevant representations are made, the Council will consider the proposed hours on their individual merits. Notwithstanding this, the Council may require stricter conditions in areas that have denser residential accommodation to prevent public nuisance. The Council will endeavour to work with all parties concerned in such instances to ensure that adequate conditions are in place.