Major focus on cumulative impact assessments in revised section 182 Guidance

Yesterday the Home Office published revised Guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, that has taken immediate effect. It can be downloaded below.

Section 182 requires the Secretary of State to issue and, from time to time, revise guidance to licensing authorities on the discharge of their functions under the 2003 Act. It also provides important information about licensing to magistrates’ courts hearing appeals against licensing decisions, those who run licensed premises, their legal advisers and the general public

The principal changes within the newly published revised Guidance relate to cumulative impact assessments (“CIAs”) that were given a statutory footing by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (Commencement No. 8) Regulations 2018 on 8 April 2018, when section 141 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017  came into force, the effect of which – as we have previously reported – was to:

  • amend section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 by introducing a new subsection 6(C) (providing that in determining or revising its statement of licensing policy, a licensing authority must have regard to any CIAs published by it under section 5A) and a new subsection 6(D) (regarding required content of such a statement of licensing policy in relation to CIAs) and
  • introduce a new section 5A into the Licensing Act 2003, with 12 subsections dealing with CIAs (subsection (1) of which permits a licensing authority to publish a CIA, stating that it considers that the number of premises licences and club premises certificates in one or more described parts of its area is such that it is likely that it would be inconsistent with the authority’s duty to promote the licensing objectives to grant any further relevant such licences or certificates in respect of premises in that part or those parts; subsection (2) provides that the CIA must set out the evidence for the licensing authority’s opinion).

We would draw your particular attention to the following CIA-related paragraphs within the revised section 182 Guidance:

  • 14.24 to 14.28 under the sub-heading “Cumulative impact assessments”
  • 14.34 in relation to the expanded steps that now have to be followed by a licensing authority in considering whether to publish a CIA
  • 14.35 to 14.38 under the sub-heading “Reviewing the CIA”, arising from the statutory obligation on the part of a licensing authority to consider, within three years from publishing the CIA, whether it remains of the same opinion set out in the CIA
  • 14.39 to 14.43 under the sub-heading “Effect of cumulative impact assessments”

Other paragraphs within the revised section 182 Guidance to which we draw your particular attention are:

  • 7.3, 7.31 & 7.35 adding further guidance on temporary event notices
  • 8.35 to 8.37 under the heading “Beer gardens or other outdoor spaces” clarifying whether such areas need to be included within the premises licence plan
  • 8.80 to 8.87 under the heading “Advertising applications” in relation to the requirements imposed on applicants and licensing authorities regarding the advertisement of applications for the grant, variation or review of premises licences and club premises certificates (including particular reference to the advertising of such applications in Wales)
  • 9.12 providing revised guidance on “The role of responsible authorities”
  • 9.31 to 9.41 with updated guidance on licensing hearings
  • 13.11 under the heading “Giving reasons for decisions” dealing with reasons where a licensing appeal is settled out of court. This new paragraph within the revised Guidance states as follows: “It is important that licensing authorities also provide all parties who were party to the original hearing, but not involved directly in the appeal, with clear reasons for any subsequent decisions where appeals are settled out of court. Local residents in particular, who have attended a hearing where the decision was subject to an appeal, are likely to expect the final determination to be made by a court”.