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Licence Reviews and Hearings

Applying for a review

Before applying for a review, you should have made a complaint about the problem previously.

Licensed premises can occasionally experience and cause problems. On the rare occasion this happens, the council tries to resolve the issues informally. However, any of the 'responsible authorities', or any other person including local residents, business etc. can apply for the council to review a premises licence if problems are on going or serious.

The application for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate must be on a ground relating to one or more of the licensing objectives:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Protection of children from harm

The application is made to the Licensing Authority and must be given in writing and be in the prescribed form. For Southwick, Shoreham and Lancing the Licensing Authority is Adur District Council and in the borough of Worthing it is Worthing Borough Council.

The person or body requesting the review must notify the holder of the premises licence and each responsible authority of their request, by sending them a copy of the application for review, together with any accompanying documents, on the same day as the application is given to the relevant licensing authority.

The licensing authority must advertise the application for the review. In Adur this is done on the Civic Centre notice board and in Worthing this is done on the Town Hall notice board. In addition notices are placed on or near the premises itself and details of the review are advertised on this website. The advertising notice will invite representations from responsible authorities and any other parties. Those wishing to make representation have a period of 28 days in which to make their written submission to the licensing authority.

The licensing authority can reject any ground for a review if it considers it to be frivolous, vexatious or a repetition. If the application and any representations are deemed relevant then the Licensing Authority, Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council, must hold a hearing to consider the application. The committee may decide not to do anything, or to impose extra conditions on the licence. It can also suspend either all or part of the licence for up to three months or even revoke a licence.

The Home Office has issued guidance to the public regarding reviews:

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Right of appeal against Licensing Authority decisions

As with 'new licence' and 'variation' applications the decision of the Licensing Authorities, Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council, when deciding a 'review' application is open to appeal to Worthing Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receipt of the formal decision.

Schedule 5 of the Licensing Act, provides a right of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court in respect of decisions made by the licensing authority following a review hearing. The right of appeal is open, not only to the applicant but to the licence holder and to any person who has made relevant representation if that person, or organisation, feels that the decision made is unjust.

Obviously before taking such a step legal advise should be sought and initial advice is available from the Licensing Unit.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued guidance regarding appeals against Licensing Authority decisions. 

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