The Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) was introduced to provide a streamlined and more effective licensing system. Licensable activities regulated by the Act include:
- the retail sale of alcohol;
- the supply of alcohol by clubs;
- regulated entertainment;
- the provision of late night refreshment
Businesses or individuals wanting to carry out any licensable activities at their premises must hold a Premises Licence or a Club Premises Certificate.
Applicants must send their applications for a Premises Licence / Club Premises Certificate to us, the Licensing Authority for the Wigan Borough.
Details of pending applications can be found at Premises Licences / Club Premises Certificates.
What is a representation
Representations are comments made in relation to an application or part of it. For example, if it was considered that an applicant was not putting sufficient controls in place to prevent customers disturbing local residents, then any one of the responsible authorities or any interested parties could make representation.
Representations can also be made in support of an application.
Under the Licensing Act 2003 representations can be made against an application for a new premises licence / club premises certificate or a variation / minor variation of an existing licence / certificate. All representations must be relevant to one or more of the four licensing objectives:
- The prevention of crime and disorder
- Public safety
- The prevention of public nuisance
- The protection of children from harm
Who can make a representation
Representations can be made by any of the responsible authorities we consult in respect of the application and any ‘other person(s)’ may make representations. Other persons means any persons who live, or are involved in a business, in the area where the premises are situated.
While any of the above can represent themselves, they can also request that a representative makes the representation on their behalf. A representative can be a legal representative, a friend, a Member of Parliament, or a councillor.
Are there any representations that may not be considered?
Yes, there may be. Representations that are irrelevant (not relevant to the licensing objectives above), frivolous or vexatious will not be accepted. An example of a representation which could be deemed irrelevant is:
Comments regarding the current number of premises within the area and the premises being only 50 metres from your premises. Under the Licensing Act 2003 the number of current premises, carrying out the same type of business is not considered relevant and therefore representations in respect of this cannot be accepted. A representation from a local businessperson about the commercial damage caused by competition from new licensed premises would not be relevant.
What is a frivolous or vexatious representation?
Frivolous representations are likely to lack seriousness. This does not mean that a trivial complaint will always be considered frivolous, but it must relate to one of the licensing objectives and demonstrate evidence of the points made in order to be relevant.
Vexatious representations may, for example, arise because of disputes between rival businesses.
Representations must relate to the impact of licensable activities carried on from the premises on the four objectives, for example:
Example 1: In respect of an application for an existing pub to extend their licence from midnight to 2am to allow late night DJs, a representation is received from an upstairs neighbour who has been complaining about the music for months, may be considered relevant. However, if that neighbour had never experienced any noise nuisance and was simply worried about the value of their home decreasing then that would not relate to any of the licensing objectives and would likely be considered frivolous and would not be relevant.
Example 2: A representation from a local business person about the commercial damage caused by competition from a new licensed premises would not be considered relevant, as it would be considered vexatious. On the other hand, a representation by a business person that nuisance caused by the new premises would deter customers from entering the local area, and the steps proposed by the applicant to prevent that nuisance were inadequate, may be considered relevant.
For this reason, the Licensing Act makes it clear that certain considerations may not form the basis of relevant representations in relation to licensing applications.
They can include:
- Limited parking;
- The number of premises already located in the area;
- The possible effect the grant of an application may have on property value;
- Moral or ethical views of the sale or consumption alcohol;
Remember: The representation must relate to the application. Where the application is purely to vary plans for structural alterations to the property, then it is unlikely that a representation brought on the grounds of crime and disorder or public nuisance would be relevant. If there are already ongoing problems with parking issues at the premises then: