A public consultation has been launched today (1 June) on a review of licencing policy in Hounslow.
Published: Monday, 1st June 2020
Hounslow Council has launched a public consultation today on a review of licensing policy in the borough and would like to hear from residents, licence holders, schools and other public authorities and stakeholders both in Hounslow and neighbouring boroughs.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, local authorities are responsibility for the licensing of alcohol, entertainment and late-night refreshment (i.e. hot food served between 11pm and 5am) in England and Wales. This includes issuing of personal licences, premises licences and club premises certificates.
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 Licensing Act requires that the Council review its Licensing Policy at least every five years, initially consulting the public on a draft Licensing Policy and making revisions to the policy as appropriate before adopting it.
A policy must take into account any cumulative impact assessment (CIA) an authority has published. The aim of a CIA is to limit the growth of licensed premises where the promotion of the licensing objectives is being compromised.
Where a Cumulative Impact Policy is in place, this usually means that applications for new premises licences or variations to existing premises licenses (increase in hours, capacity or change of conditions) will be refused.
Hounslow Council’s draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2020-25 is broadly similar to the existing policy 2015-20, but it strengthens the link between licensing and other Council policies and provides additional information for applicants, residents and members about how the Licensing Act 2003 will be dealt with in Hounslow.
There are three main changes contained in the draft Policy:
- The proposed extension of the Cumulative Impact Area (otherwise unchanged) to include parts of Heston (applicable to new and variation licence applications only)
- The introduction of ‘core hours’, (for new and variation licence applications only) 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’, which although not a statutory requirement, have proved successful in other boroughs in helping licence applicants prepare their applications.
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 draft new policy includes some amendments that will enable us to safeguard our communities further in the issuance of any new licencing or amended conditions. We want to hear from as many people as possible 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 be consulting a draft of what will now be Hounslow's fourth statement of licensing policy. The draft 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 licenced 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’. These place a duty on us to prevent crime, order and nuisance, protect public safety and ensure children do not come to harm. As chair of the Licensing Committee, I and my colleagues are keen to hear all views on this draft version so that we can create an even better final policy that serves the Borough well for the next five years."