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'Under the Licensing Act 2003, the Council is obliged to review and publish its Statement of Licensing Policy. On 16 January 2019, at a meeting of the Full Council, the Statement of Licensing Policy (LA3) and the Cumulative Impact Assessment (Town Centre Ward) were approved. Both policies are effective from this date.
The purpose of the Statement of Licensing Policy (LA3) is to clearly set out the principles the Council proposes to apply when determining licence applications under the Licensing Act 2003, while upholding the licensing objectives, which are:
The Council has aspirational plans for the town centre and the borough’s published Development Plan outlines the overall spatial strategy for borough development and regeneration. The town centre and its regeneration is a key council priority and it is important that licensing is used strategically to support this ongoing development and that of the borough as a whole.
Developing the early evening and night time economy is crucial to the long term success of the town centre, as is improving the standard of licensed outlets, and varying the provision will play a key role in this. Similarly, it is vital that sensible and responsible drinking is promoted and that those establishments who operate in this area are supported appropriately.
With these key priorities at its heart, the Statement of Licensing Policy has been revised to meet the strategic needs of the borough. The policy clearly sets out how the Licensing Authority will work with and support business, along with the Responsible Authorities, local business, its partners and regeneration colleagues.
The Cumulative Impact Policy for parts of the town centre is now replaced by the revised Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA), which covers the whole town centre ward.
A CIA creates a ‘rebuttable presumption’, which means that if an application will likely add to the ‘cumulative impact’ in an area, the application would be refused. However, this process is only triggered if there is a ‘relevant representation’ under the licensing objectives. If no representations are received, then the authority must grant the application as applied for. The CIA is not absolute and does not remove the Licensing Authority’s discretion to grant applications where it considers this appropriate, in the light of the individual circumstances of the case.
The CIA will apply to all premises licence and club premises licences in the proposed area but does not apply to Temporary Event Notices.
If you are considering applying for a licence, you are advised to read the relevant policies and seek appropriate guidance from the Licensing Authority, prior to application.
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