The current lockdown continues to cause major problems for the hospitality sector. Despite these difficulties it is imperative that operators continue to meet their obligations in combatting the virus and in particular continue to comply with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions ((All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2000 as well as guidance on other matters such as social distancing
Failure to do so could lead to any application by one or more of the responsible authorities which includes the Police, the local authority with responsibility for Environmental Health and Trading Standards or indeed anyone else for a review of your premises licence.
At any stage, following the grant of a premises licence or club premises certificate, a responsible authority, or any other person, may ask the licensing authority to review the licence or certificate because of a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives. The licensing objectives are the prevention of crime and disorder as well as the prevention of public nuisance, the promotion of public safety and the protection of children from harm.
In addition, the licensing authority must review a licence if the premises to which it relates is made the subject of a closure order by the police based on nuisance or disorder and the magistrates’ court has sent the authority the relevant notice of its determination, or if the police have made an application for summary review on the basis that premises are associated with serious crime and/or disorder.
If you lose your premises licence you will no longer be able to carry out any licensable activities including the sale of alcohol to the general public and the provision of any entertainment regulated by the Licensing Act 2003 once the current restrictions are eased. A fresh application would need to be made for a licence which might well be opposed and refused in reliance on the licensing objectives. The police could even object to the proposed Designated Premises Supervisor in exceptional circumstances if the appointment is likely to undermine the crime prevention objective
The police and local authorities are now showing a willingness to apply for a review to their local licensing sub-committee where there is evidence of noncompliance. By way of example a restaurant has recently lost its licence for serving food and drink to customer’s days after all restaurants were ordered to close under the second lockdown. According to news reports it was said by Environmental Health that the restaurant had put the population of this country at risk by failing to control the virus. A hotel had its licence revoked for continuing to serve customers in the second lockdown. So premises licence holders need to comply – if they do not, they face the potential loss of their licence.
If you would like to take advice on anything covered in this article, please contact our expert Licensing Team on 01603 610911 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: the content of this article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken in any specific circumstance.