Lords committee proposes radical overhaul of Licensing Act

Posted in Licensing | April 10, 2017 | by Dadds LLP Solicitors

A House of Lords committee has completed an inquiry into the Licensing Act 2003, finding the legislation is in need of a "radical overhaul".

Amongst other points, the Licensing Act 2003 committee, which led the ten-month inquiry into the legislation, recommended abolishing late-night levies, setting licensing fees on a local government level rather than nationally and integrating licensing applications alongside planning applications.

The committee also recommended that disabled people’s access be considered when granting licences, stating: “Scotland’s example should also be followed in helping disabled people to access licensed premises by requiring an application for a premises licence to include a disabled access statement.”

The committee also said the agent-of-change principle – which “would require anyone instigating a new building development or a change in land use […] to take into account the nearby properties and their functions” – should be adopted nationally in both planning and licensing guidance, “to help protect both licensed premises and local residents from consequences arising from any new built development in their nearby vicinity”.

The Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) Brigid Simmonds gave oral evidence to the enquiry and largely welcomes the findings. The BBPA has responded to the key issues arising from the House of Lords inquiry.

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