If an agreement cannot be reached a Sub-Committee of three councillors who have received training in the Licensing Act 2003 will hear the application. The hearing is a semi-formal process however it is accepted that interested parties are unlikely to have legal training and so every attempt will be made to assist them with the process. Any party to the hearing may have a legal adviser or friend present.
The interested parties or responsible authority will be asked to put the case for the review and present any evidence that they have supplied.
If new evidence is produced at the hearing all parties must agree to it being allowed. If any party does not agree to the inclusion of the new evidence it must be excluded or the hearing must be adjourned to another date in order to allow it to be properly considered.
Once the interested parties and responsible authorities have put their case the licence holder will have the opportunity to refute the allegation and put their case.
Questions may be asked when each side has finished their individual cases. Questions should be posed through the Sub-Committee Chair in order to avoid any acrimony. Cross-examination in an adversarial manner will not be allowed.
When all parties have presented their case the Sub-Committee Chair will give them an opportunity to give a closing statement. The Sub-Committee will then retire to consider their determination. The Sub-Committee will normally be accompanied by a legal advisor and may take the hearing clerk with them to record the determination process.
The burden of proof in licensing hearings is the civil law “balance of probabilities” and not the criminal “beyond all reasonable doubt”.
Having reached their determination the Sub-Committee will return and the legal advisor will recount the advice given to the Sub-Committee. The Chair will then read the determination.
If the review is allowed the Sub-Committee may:
- Revoke the licence
- Suspend the licence or a particular licensable activity for a period not exceeding 3 months
- Remove a licensable activity from the licence
- Modify the licence. This might include changing the hours for all or any of the licensable activities or attaching conditions to a licence. It might also include the removal of a person as the Designated Premises Supervisor.
A notice outlining the reasons for the determination (Notice of Determination) will be sent to all parties to the hearing within 10 days.
If any party is aggrieved by the determination of the Sub-Committee there is a right of appeal to the magistrates court. Notice of appeal must be registered with the magistrate’s court within 21 days of the receipt of the Notice of Determination.
Contact the Licensing Section
Telephone: 01304 872295