Appeal a Premises Licence decision - Wednesday 28th March 2012
Has your application for a new Premises Licence been refused? Did you object to a Licence and it was granted, despite your objections? Or perhaps your Premises Licence was subject to a review and you’re not happy with the outcome?
Any licensing decision made by a Council’s Licensing Sub Committee can be appealed to the Magistrates’ Court under s. 181 Licensing Act 2003. An appeal (by complaint) must be lodged with the local Court within 21 days of being notified of the decision. A fee of £400.00 is payable when lodging an appeal.
It is sensible to instruct a Solicitor to draft and lodge your appeal within the time limit. Unlike unqualified licensing consultants, Solicitors have a right of audience in the Magistrates Courts, which means that they can prepare your appeal and speak on your behalf in Court.
A final hearing date will be fixed, which will be dealt with by way of a re-hearing of the original decision. The onus is on the person appealing the original decision to show that it was “wrong”. Fresh evidence can be introduced.
There can be cost implications on a licensing appeal. Under s.181 Licensing Act 2003, a Court may make “such order as to costs as it thinks fit”. Neither successful appellants nor successful respondents can be guaranteed that they will be able to recover their legal costs. In some cases cost awards can be substantial.
If you are thinking of appealing a licensing decision please give us a call for free initial advice about your prospects. This is not a situation where we would recommend you take action alone or before obtaining legal advice.
Richard Williams – LR Law Licensing Solicitors