Premises Licences - Making a complaint (review)
Businesses and clubs have a responsibility to ensure the Licensing Objectives are met.
The Licensing Act 2003 provides safeguards for local residents and businesses through its review procedures.
Who should I contact to make a complaint or application for a review of a licence?
Any problems relating to crime and disorder should be reported to Essex Police.
For information on making complaints relating to noise please go to the Noise Pollution web page.
The Licensing Authority may be able to mediate between the parties and the licence holder to try to resolve the issues without formal proceedings. If you feel mediation would be useful and would like to discuss this further, please contact the Licensing Officer on 01277 312500.
If you wish to apply for a review of a licence please complete the following online form:
When you submit your online form you will receive by email a copy of your application. Please note that it is your responsibility to provide a copy to the licence holder or certificate holder. The Licensing Authority will give a copy to each Responsible Authority.
Can the Licensing Authority refuse to deal with my complaint?
The Licensing Authority can refuse to deal with a review application if it is not relevant to the four licensing objectives or if a request from an interested party is considered by the Licensing Authority to be frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.
An application would be considered to be ‘repetitious’ where it is either identical or similar to:
- a ground for review that had been considered on an earlier occasion in respect of the same premises
- a representation considered by the Licensing Authority when the premises licence was granted
- any representation that was excluded at the time of the initial premises licence application because a provisional statement had already been issued in respect of the premises
A reasonable amount of time must not have elapsed since an earlier review or the grant of the licence. The Government’s Statutory Guidance indicates that normally 12 months would be a reasonable amount of time.
The Licensing Authority has a duty to advertise a valid application for review and invite representations from the Responsible Authorities and interested parties:
- A pale blue notice displayed for 28 days at or near the premises where it can be read by the public.
- Details provided at the foot of this web page.
- At the Town Hall
After this 28 day period the Licensing Authority will arrange a hearing (Licensing Sub-Committee) to which all parties who have submitted valid representation will be invited. They will have the opportunity to put their case and answer any questions the Sub-Committee may have. The licence holder will also have the opportunity to address the Sub-Committee and answer any questions.
At the conclusion of the review hearing the Licensing Sub-Committee will decide which, if any, of the following actions are necessary to promote the licensing objectives:
- Modify the conditions attached to the premises licence or club premises certificate
- Exclude a licensable activity
- Remove the designated premises supervisor (premises licences only)
- Suspend the licence or certificate for not more than 3 months
- Revoke the licence or certificate
Alternatively, having considered all the evidence before them, they may decide to take no action, issue an informal warning and/or recommend changes to be made within a specified time scale. Where the Sub-Committee considers that the situation warrants it, a premises licence or club premises certificate may be revoked on the first review.
All parties will be notified by the Licensing Authority of the decision made and the reasons for making it.
What happens if I am not happy with the decision?
Anyone who was party to the hearing can appeal against the decision. This is done by giving notice to the clerk to the magistrates with 21 days of being notified of the decision.
The review decision cannot take effect until the 21 day period for making an appeal has expired or, if an appeal was lodged, until the appeal is concluded or withdrawn.
Further information about the review and appeal processes can be found on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.
Are there any reviews of Premises Licences currently happening?
There are no reviews currently being undertaken.