On the 25th July 2018, the fees payable to the Court for lodging a Licensing Appeal were much reduced. Previously the fee was £410.00, but as a result of the change in the law, it now stands at £70.00.
Hackney Council have adopted a much criticised new “core hours policy” suggests closing times of 11pm on weeknights and midnight at weekends, although the Council has said the document should be seen as a “guide” rather than a “blanket policy”. The Council also voted to double the size of the Cumulative Impact Zone (CIP) in Shoreditch.
PPL has launched a consultation relating to its Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) tariff, setting out PPL’s thinking in relation to tariff scope, tariff structure, fees and implementation. The consultation relates to the playing of recorded music at events such as discos and DJ nights, which in this instance applies only to nightclubs, pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and hotels as these are the primary venue types licensed under the SFE tariff. In due course, PPL will consider how a revised SFE tariff might apply to other venues. The deadline for responses is 28 September 2018.
Planning – Planning Guidance now includes ‘Agent of Change’ principle
The National Planning Policy Framework, issued in July 2018, includes provisions relating to the “Agent of Change” principle.
The Guidance at point 182 states: “Planning policies and decisions should ensure that new development can be integrated effectively with existing businesses and community facilities (such as places of worship, pubs, music venues and sports clubs). Existing businesses and facilities should not have unreasonable restrictions placed on them as a result of development permitted after they were established. Where the operation of an existing business or community facility could have a significant adverse effect on new development (including changes of use) in its vicinity, the applicant (or ‘agent of change’) should be required to provide suitable mitigation before the development has been completed.”
As our regular readers will know we like to keep you advised of items of interest that are placed in the House of Commons Library. These are usually briefing papers written to provide MPs and their staff with “impartial briefing and evidence base they need to do their work in scrutinising Government, proposing legislation, and supporting constituents”. There have been two recent relevant additions:
one relates to the Mandatory Conditions
the other to Children in Pubs.
An area of some uncertainty and increasing concern for operators. A discussion around the steps to facilitate the requirement to renew Personal Licences on the 10th anniversary pursuant to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 continues and the concerns of the trade as to the mechanics of the process increase as each week goes by and no way forward is announced. Within a Scottish Government review document there is perhaps a hint as to how the situation will be dealt with.
The Scottish Government have now published a consultation on the issue of the renewal fee for Personal licence holders. As mentioned above, those who were granted their personal licences in September 2009, as part of the first wave, are now approaching their 10th anniversary and therefore will be required to ‘renew’ their personal licences. The consultation proposes a £50 fee (this mirrors the new personal licence fee) and invites responses to the consultation no later than Wednesday 15th August 2018.
Between 1 November 2017 and 7 February 2018, the Scottish government consulted on Guidance on the Provisions for Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues and Changes to Licensing of Theatres seeking comments on any areas within the draft non-statutory guidance which were unclear or not easily understood and other issues which should be taken into account within the guidance.
Thirty one responses were received in total, albeit two did not agree to the publication of their responses. A summary of the responses can be found here.
The Gambling Commission has published their annual report for the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The report includes statements from the Chairman, William Moyes, and recently appointed CEO Neil McArthur. In addition a number of statistics regarding the scale and health of the gaming industry are included.
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), whose stated purpose is to provide independent advice to the Gambling Commission, and through it to the Government, on a national responsible gambling strategy, has recently published a new report entitled “Measuring gambling-related harms – A framework for action”. The report is the result of close collaboration between the Commission, GambleAware as funding body and RGSB.
In May we were pleased to announce the opening of our new Gosport office housing Jon Wallsgrove and his specialist licensing team which joined us on 1 May 2018. Bringing with him a raft of national clients including M&S, John Lewis and Waitrose, the team are now well integrated into the wider practice and in the last three months have lodged over 200 licence applications and in their own right successfully appeared before a number of licensing committees on contested applications.