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Rebalancing the Licensing Act
The Home Office have now released details of the amendments to the Licensing Act resulting from the “Consultation on Rebalancing the Licensing Act”. The draft amendments include:
- Including Licensing Authorities as Responsible Authorities, which would enable them to object to applications and instigate review proceedings of their own accord.
- Including Health Authorities as Responsible Authorities.
- Relaxing the definition of “vicinity”, which will allow parties from further afield to object to licensing applications.
- Amending the Temporary Events Notice time frames and procedures.
- Allowing Licensing Authorities to restrict premises opening between the hours of 00:00 and 06:00.
- Allowing Licensing Authorities to charge a levy for premises which open later.
- Allowing suspension of the Premises Licence for non-payment of the annual fee.
There has been some surprise in the trade press, but a minimum price for alcohol has not been included in the bill.
It is not yet definite that the proposals will become law, but the bill has passed through its first reading, so it is looking more likely. Whilst the bill as it stands is a retreat from what was proposed in the Consultation in a number of ways, it will not be seen as good news for those in the sector.
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