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Government's response to the Licensing Act review
Further to our previous e-update which can be seen here, the Government have now responded to the report from the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act. A full copy of the response can be found here.
It seems clear that some of the Select Committee’s proposals will not be adopted, including the removal of Early Morning Restriction Orders and Late Night Levies (LNL’s), and LNL’s are likely to be made more flexible. There was also discussion about the licensing fee structure and whether this would change from centrally set fees to locally set fees, but the Government have stated there will be no change to the current structure in the immediate future. There was also commentary around additional licensing objectives but it appears that the current four licensing objectives will remain as they are. The suggestion of partially merging planning and licensing has also been rejected, and for the time being their relationship will remain as it is currently.
It has been confirmed that a complete overhaul of the Licensing Act is not on the cards, but the Government has agreed that there are some recommendations that could improve how the Act operates. For example, providing training to licensing committee members, clarifying that police evidence is important but removing the emphasis from the Guidance, dispensing with hearings if they are no longer necessary, confirming that a licensing sub-committee should have three members present, and providing additional guidance in relation to certain TENs being brought to the attention of local residents.
When the revised guidance is issued, further clarity on the above will be provided. In the meantime, if you require any further information, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the licensing team.