Under the Licensing Act 2003, councils must produce a Statement of Licensing Policy at least every 5 years. Licensing in this case means alcohol, most forms of public entertainment, club premises and late-night refreshment (food served any time after 11pm and before 5am). It also includes temporary event notices (TENs) which can be applied for by licensed venues, other businesses and members of the public.
The Act has four licensing objectives:
- the prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- the prevention of public nuisance
- the protection of children from harm.
The London Borough of Hounslow must publish an updated Statement of Licensing Policy by November 2020. An eight week consultation on the draft version of the Council’s updated policy, and the research that underpinned it, was undertaken and has now ended
Why we consulted?
The Council consulted on the draft Licensing Policy not only because it is a legal requirement but because the licensing policy potentially affects everyone who operates a licensed premises, residents, other businesses and public authorities. Because of this the Council wanted to ensure that the widest number of people have been able to comment on it, so changes can be made to the final document to make it more robust, more locally responsive and easier to understand.
There were also three significant changes to this version of the policy, which the consultation specifically asked for your feedback on.
- The proposed extension of the Cumulative Impact Area to include parts of Heston.
- The introduction of ‘core hours’, outside of which the Council will normally expect to see additional controls and due diligence around issues such as noise nuisance, customer dispersal, littering, security and so on.
- The introduction of ‘model conditions’. Whilst these are not a statutory requirement, they have proved successful in other boroughs in helping licence applicants prepare their applications.
Following the closure of the eight week consultation the Local Authority received 122 responses to the online questionnaire and 13 responses in email format. This feedback has proved extremely valuable and has led to amendments being made to the final policy such as the change in start times of the core hours from 8am to 9am on Mondays to Saturdays and a more extensive Cumulative Impact Area.
The policy has now been to Licensing Committee, Cabinet and was approved at Borough Council and we will be bringing the new policy into force from Monday 26 October.
What will this mean
Any new applications, variations, transfers etc received on or after Monday 26 October will need to adhere to the Licensing Policy 2020 – 2025.
Where the revised Cumulative Impact Policy is in place, applications for new premises licences or variations to existing premises licences (increase in hours, capacity or change of conditions) will need to show that they will not add to the cumulative impact of licensed premises in the area.
If you have any questions relating to this please email the Licensing Team at Licensing@Hounslow.gov.uk
Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency said: “The review of our licencing policy as required under the Licencing Act 2003 is very important in upholding public order and safety and protecting the vulnerable in our communities.
“Our new policy includes some amendments that will enable us to safeguard our communities further with the use of our new or amended conditions. It has been great to hear from all the people that have responded prior to adoption, to ensure that our new policy is fit for purpose for the next five years.”
Councillor Richard Foote, Chair of Licensing Committee at Hounslow Council said: "We are pleased to have consulted on the draft Licensing Policy and received such a good response to the consultation. The Licensing Policy seeks to provide clear guidance to both existing and new licensees about the council's approach to licensing and at the same time incorporates the relevant legislative changes since our last policy and introduces core hours for premises.
“In particular, we seek to balance the Borough’s desire to develop the variety and diversity of its licensed premises and to support the regeneration of our centres and neighbourhoods, whilst ensuring that we deliver on the Licensing Act 2003’s four licensing objectives.”