Go to navigation

Licensed premises consultation

Once the Licensing Unit has received your application, a member of the unit checks the documentation and makes sure that the application complies with all the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 (the Act).

  • If they accept the application, within a couple of days you will receive a confirmation letter and reminding you to advertise your application
  • If they reject the application, they will return your documentation along with a letter explaining the problems with your application and what action you need to take to rectify the situation

Any missing documentation or fee payment will result in an application being rejected and returned to the applicant.

Consultation period

Once your application has been accepted, the consultation period begins. During the next 28 days:

  • details of your application are entered on a computer system
  • emails are sent to all of the responsible authorities informing them of your application and making sure you have complied with the legal requirement to send them a copy of the application: the Licensing Unit also provides them with a deadline for their comments
  • enforcement officers will visit the outside of your premises to confirm that the notice is displayed on the premises correctly
  • weekly emails are sent to the responsible authorities to ensure their comments are provided
  • licensing staff will speak to any members of the public who have any queries in relation to your application - they may be interested in viewing your application or wish to discuss objecting to your application.

No objections

If the council does not receive any objections from the responsible authorities or interested party, your application is granted on the basis of the application you submitted. You will initially receive a letter confirming that your licence is granted. This allows you to operate the activities for the hours requested on your application form.

Within the next couple of weeks, a licence and summary sheet are sent. It is then up to the applicant to display the summary sheet on the premises immediately to comply with the legal requirements.

Objections

If the Licensing Unit receives any objections, it must arrange a Licensing Hearing Panel. A hearing will be set within a month of the end of the consultation period. This is called the mediation period.

Objections are called representations under the Act.

Once the unit receives a representation, it must decide if it is relevant. The following criteria are applied:

  • it must be in writing, that is in the form of a letter or email
  • the person making it must provide details of their name and their full postal address
  • the comments must be in relation to one or more of the licensing objectives
  • it must have been received by the council within the 28-day consultation period
  • it must not be frivolous, vexatious or repetitive.

Irrelevant representations

If a representation fails to meet any of the criteria above, the Licensing Unit will write to the objector to say that it cannot accept it under the Act as it is irrelevant.

Relevant representations

If a representation meets all of the criteria above it is a relevant representation.

The Licensing Unit then notifies the objector and tells them that there will be a meeting of the Licensing Hearing Panel. It also advises them that they can bring a legal representative to assist with presenting their evidence at the hearing. Later, the unit will contact them again with the date, time and location of the hearing.

The unit also notifies the applicant or their solicitor or agent that it has received an objection and that there will be a meeting of the Licensing Hearing Panel and that they can bring a legal representative to assist with presenting their evidence at the hearing. Later, the unit will contact them again with the date, time and location of the hearing.

Mediation period

There are two types of representations and they need to be handled differently. The mediation period gives the applicant an opportunity to look at the objections and decide if they wish to amend their application or provide evidence at a hearing dealing with the issues raised in the objections.

Interested party

It is often extremely difficult to arrange a mediation discussion with residents and the applicant, so once a representation is received from an interested party, the hearing usually goes ahead. In the meantime, the applicant has an opportunity to arrange a residents meeting that may allow all the parties to openly discuss their concerns and see if an agreement can be reached. A hearing will only be cancelled if the objector(s) then withdraw their objection in writing and no other relevant representations are outstanding.

Responsible authority

As soon as the Licensing Unit receives a representation from one of the responsible authorities, a letter is sent to the applicant enclosing the objection notice form. The form will inform them of the contact name at that authority. The letter will explain what action the applicant must now take.

Applicants should contact the authority immediately, discuss the objection and decide whether they agree with the comments and recommendations that the authority might have put forward.

If they agree, they should tell the Unit in writing so that it can ask the authority to say if it is willing to withdraw its objection. If it does, the hearing will be cancelled as long as no other relevant representations are outstanding. If an agreement cannot be reached, the hearing will go ahead as planned.

For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: Licensing Services - 01634 337107 or 337108 / Enforcement - 01634 337112 or 337106 or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR