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Shoreham Airport Licensing Application - Detailed information

Since The Argus reported that a licensing application had been filed with Adur District Council to support a potential new summer music event, there has been a great deal of local interest in the process and the application itself.

The below information is intended to explain how the licensing process works and what it means for this application in particular.

The process

When Licensing Application is made to the Licensing Authority (the Council) under the Licensing Act 2003, the person or organisation applying (known as 'the applicant') is obliged by the Act to forward copies of the application to the responsible authorities including Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Trading Standards, Environmental Protection, Environmental Health & Safety, Planning and the Director of Public Health.

The applicant then has responsibility for publishing a notice in the legal section of the local newspaper within 10 days of making application. The notice gives a basic outline of the licensable activities being sought and the timings requested, it details the 28 day consultation period, invites interested parties to attend the council offices to view the application and provides the council contact details and website to give details regarding making representation. In addition, the applicant must place a notice on or adjacent to the premise concerned advertising the same information and these notices remain on display for 28 days.

Under the Act, the Council has no power to extend the consultation period and must hold a hearing within 20 working days of the close of consultation.

The Councils are under an obligation to grant the application unless there are relevant representations received in writing from the authorities or public that express concerns regarding the activities applied for that relate to crime & disorder, public nuisance, public safety or the protection of children from harm and the applicant cannot adequately address those concerns. The Licensing Committee cannot look at other issues such as traffic management, congestion or emergency service cover.

When a hearing is held, those organisations and individuals who made a representation during the consultation - either for or against - will be invited to speak during the hearing. Any decision under the Licensing Act 2003 can be appealed by the applicant, or those who have made relevant representation, to the Magistrates' court within 21 days if they feel the authority's decision is unjust.

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The process as applied to this specific application

In this instance, the applicant, SJM Ltd., made the application on 6th November 2014 and advertised it in the Herald on 13th November 2014. Due to the size of the airport, site notices were also placed at 50m intervals along the boundary to the site that the public has access to.

Details of this application (and all applications made under the Licensing Act) are published on the Adur & Worthing Councils' Website

The consultation period closed at midnight on Friday 5th December 2014 and the hearing to consider the application - and all representations - will be held on Wednesday 7th January 2015.

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Background information

The Council understands that, in this case, Shoreham Airport has given the applicants permission to hold an event on one weekend a year subject to an 'Events Management Plan' being agreed between the airport management, the festival organiser, Sussex Police and all the other responsible authorities.

The application to the Council is therefore for a premises licence to allow the sale of alcohol, the staging of live & recorded music and the provision of late night refreshment at the event.

The application builds in flexibility in terms of dates and days of the week on which licensable activity can take place with weather concerns being quoted as a fundamental reason why such flexibility is required.

The applicant has been attending Safety Action Group meetings with all the authorities to put together an acceptable 'Events Management Plan' and these meetings will be ongoing up until the event, should it go ahead, and would carry on in subsequent years if the event were successful. If that 'Events Management Plan' is not developed to the satisfaction of the Council, then it could veto the proposed event, even if the licensing application was successful.

Representations were made on the applications by the public and Sussex Police before the close of the consultation. All those representations received before the close of consultation and are relevant to the licensing objectives will be considered by members of the Adur Licensing Committee at a public hearing on 7th January 2015 at the Civic Centre. Those who have made representation that have been accepted will also have the right to speak at the hearing.

The Committee will consider all the issues and the decision of the Licensing Committee will be announced at the hearing.

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