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Licensing Act 2003 policy

B. Policy Statements: Part three

12. Prevention of Public Nuisance

12.1 Licensed premises, especially those operating late at night and in the early hours of the morning, can cause a range of nuisances impacting on people living, working or sleeping within the vicinity of the premises. The concerns mainly relate to noise nuisance, light pollution and noxious smells and due regard will be taken on the impact these may have and the licensing authority will expect operating schedules to satisfactorily address these issues. Applicants are advised to seek advice from the Authority's Environmental Health Officers before preparing their plans and schedules.

12.2 The licensing authority will consider attaching conditions to licences and permissions to prevent public nuisance. In considering all licence applications, the Licensing authority will consider the adequacy of measures proposed to deal with the potential for nuisance and disorder having regard to all of the circumstances of the application, and in particular consider the following: -

a. the type of activity, the number and type of customers likely to attend;

b. the levels of noise likely to be generated from the premises;

c. particular consideration to be given to the effect of the implementation of the smoking legislation on the four licensing objectives

d. the proposed hours of operation - there is no presumption that the local authority will allow external areas to be used by customers for the consumption of food or drink after 23.00 unless otherwise stated in the particular premises licensing conditions;

e. the levels of public transport accessibility for customers and the likely means of public or private transport that will be used;

f. means of access to the premises for customers;

g. Careful consideration will be given to the dispersal arrangements from premises including the impact of customers waiting around for transport such as taxis or buses or returning to private cars parked in the immediate vicinity. Any foreseeable nuisance in respect of the dispersal of patrons should be mitigated by an adequate and appropriate policy which is implemented and understood by all management and staff at the premises.

h. the cumulative impact of licensed premises;

h. frequency of the activity;

i. the steps the applicant has taken or proposes to prevent disturbance by patrons arriving at or leaving the premises;

j. the steps the applicant has taken or proposes to prevent queuing, or if queuing is inevitable, to divert queues away from neighbouring premises, or otherwise manage the queue to prevent disturbance or obstruction;

k. the arrangements the applicant has made or proposes to make for security lighting at the premises, and the steps the applicant has taken or proposes to take to ensure that lighting will not cause a nuisance to residents;

l. whether routes to and from the premises pass residential premises; m. whether the premises would result in increased refuse storage or disposal problems or additional litter in the vicinity of the premises.

13. Mechanisms for dealing with Public Nuisance

13.1 The licensing authority recognises that once away from licensed premises a minority of consumers will behave badly and occasionally unlawfully.

13.2 The public have the benefit of various methods of control including: -

a. planning controls;

b. positive measures to create a safe and clean town centre environment in partnership with local businesses, transport operators and other departments of the local authority;

c. powers of local authorities to designate parts of the local authority area as places where alcohol may be regulated;

d. police enforcement of the normal law concerning disorder and anti-social behaviour, including the issuing of Penalty Notice for disorder;

e. the prosecution of any personal licence holder or members of staff at such premises who is selling alcohol to people who are drunk; 

f. the confiscation of alcohol from adults and children in designated areas;

g. police powers to close down instantly for up to 24 hours any licensed premises or temporary events on grounds of disorder, the likelihood of disorder or excessive noise emanating from the premises;

h. the power of the police, other responsible authorities or an 'other person' to seek a review of the licence or certificate in question.

i. The Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) has been replaced by the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 201415. PSPOs can be used to restrict the drinking of alcohol in a public space where this has or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life on those in the locality, be persistent or continuing in nature, and unreasonable. Before making a PSPO, a council must consult the local police.

DPPOs will continue to be valid for a period of three years following commencement of the PSPO in October 2014. Once that three-year period expires, they will be treated as a PSPO and enforceable as such. Where a local authority occupies or manages premises, or where premises are managed on its behalf, and it licenses that place for alcohol sales, the PSPO will not apply when the licence is being used for alcohol sales (or 30 minutes after), but the place will be subject to the PSPO at all other times16. This allows local authorities to promote community events while still using a PSPO to tackle the problems of anti-social drinking.

14. Protection of Children from Harm

14.1 The policy does not seek to prevent the access of children to licensed premises. Access is at the discretion of the licensee and is neither encouraged nor discouraged by the policy. Conditions relating to access of children will only be imposed where they are necessary to promote the licensing objective of the "protection of children from harm."

14.2 Premises that may require conditions relating to access by children may include the following:

  • Where there have been convictions for under-age drinking or where there is evidence of underage drinking;
  • Where there is evidence of drug taking or drug dealing;
  • Where a strong element of gambling takes place on the premises;
  • Where entertainment of an 'adult' or 'sexual' nature takes place.

14.3 On occasions it may be necessary to impose a condition on a premises licence banning entry to those premises by children under the age of 18 years. Options other than a complete ban will include the following:

  • Limiting the hours when children will be permitted in the premises;
  • Stating a minimum age (below 18);
  • Limiting or prohibiting access when certain activities are taking place;
  • Permitting access only when accompanied by an adult
  • Limiting of access to certain parts of the premises when particular licensable activities are taking place;
  • Provision of suitable signage;
  • All premises selling/supplying alcohol are encouraged to operate a Challenge 21, Challenge 25 or similar Policy.
  • Such other condition or restriction as may be necessary to achieve the licensing objectives. It shall be noted that there is no presumption in favour of adult entertainment unless specifically authorised.

14.4 A complete ban on children entering licensed premises is rarely likely to be necessary.

14.5 Nothing in this policy makes it a requirement that children must be admitted to any premises. Licensees are not to provide alcohol to children, except as provided by the Act. The licensing authority expects applicants to be able to demonstrate that they have in place satisfactory arrangements to prevent sales of alcohol to children. The licensing authority recommends that the following documents should be used as evidence of age:

  • Photographic Identity card bearing the PASS hologram
  • Photocard driving licence issued in the European Union
  • Passport

14.6 The licensing authority will expect the operating schedule to identify suitable measures to protect children from harm and must therefore demonstrate that those factors, which impact on harm to children, have been considered. In addition, the licensing authority will expect the operating schedule to demonstrate what measures are in place to ensure adequate staff training on the licensing laws relating to children in licensed premises.

14.7 The licensing authority will also expect the licensee to demonstrate how they intend to provide for the supervision of children as customers and as performers providing regulated entertainment. Licence holders will be expected to demonstrate that consideration has been given to the welfare of children as performers. As a minimum requirement the licensing authority will require an adult to be nominated to be responsible for such child performers.

14.8 Where there is entertainment specifically provided for children (for example a children's disco) the licensing authority will require the presence of sufficient adults to control the access and egress of the children and ensure their safety.

14.9 The licensing authority will recommend persons working with children in respect of premises holding regulated entertainment for under 18s to undergo an enhanced criminal record check before they are appointed.

14.10 The licensing authority recognise the Social Services directorate of Lancashire County Council or any future body incorporating the functions of a social services department as defined by statute, as being competent to advise on matters relating to the protection of children from harm. The Policing and Crime Act 2009 introduced new powers and offences relating to the sale and supply of alcohol to children. As stated earlier all applicants or existing licence/certificate holders should ensure that they continue to be aware of their obligations on an ongoing basis.

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