Make an objection or representation to a licence application

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 Act provides that any person may make an objection or representation to the Board in respect of the following sorts of applications:

  1. Occasional Licences
  2. New Premises Licences (including Provisional Premises Licences)
  3. A major variation application

View current liquor applications on TellMeScotland.

It is not possible to object to an application for minor variations.

The phrase “any person” includes both individuals and bodies, such as community councils. There is no requirement to show a nexus or interest.


What are objections and representations?

Objection

An objection should constitute an objection to the granting of a licence at all.

It must be linked to one of the grounds for refusal for that type of application (see below).

If it is not linked to a ground for refusal, your objection will be dismissed.

Representation

Representations can be in support of an application and are not an objection to the granting of a licence in principle.

They are more likely to be relevant to suggested modifications to the operating plan or conditions to be attached to the licence to make the application acceptable in the eyes of the representor.

A representation should be relevant to one of the licensing objectives if you wish to propose amendments or conditions.

You cannot suggest an amendment without a basis for doing so.

You must be sure of whether you wish to object to any license being issued or make representations about possible changes. If you try to object by way of representation, it will be rejected.

The board can reject frivolous or vexatious objections or representations.

You should be sure of the grounds before considering an objection or representation.


Grounds for objection or representation

Premises Licence (including Provisional Premises Licences) or Major Variation

As discussed above, any person may object or make representations on these kinds of applications.

Objection

An objection for a New Premises Licence application must be in relation to a relevant ground upon which the Board can refuse an application. These are:

  1. that the Board considers that the granting of the application would be inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives;
  2. that, having regard to: the nature of the activities proposed to be carried on in the premises; o the location, character and condition of the premises; and o the persons likely to frequent the premises, the Board considers that the premises are unsuitable for use for the sale of alcohol;
  3. that, having regard to the number and capacity of licensed premises, or licensed premises of the same or similar description as the premises, in the locality in which the premises are situated, the Board considers that, if the application were to be granted, there would, as a result, be overprovision of licensed premises, or licensed premises of that description, in the locality
  4. that the premises are “excluded premises” within the meaning of section 123(2) of the 2005 Act
  5. that the Board has refused an application made in respect of the same premises in the year preceding the application (however, there is an exception to this);
  6. in the case of any application for a 24 hour on sales licence, that the Board is not satisfied there are exceptional circumstances which justify allowing the sale of alcohol on the premises for such a period; and
  7. any off sales application for off sales hours before 10am or after 10pm on any day must be refused

An objection must be linked to one of these grounds for refusal. If objecting on the basis of point one above, it must also specify which licensing objective you would deem to have been contravened if the licence were to be granted.

Representation

The 2005 Act does not specify that a Representation need be linked to a particular ground, however it is good practice to link your suggestions to a Licensing Objective.

The time limit to lodge an objection or representation is within 28 days of the date on which the relevant application is first advertised on the Board’s website. However, the Board has a discretion to consider late objections and representations if it considers there is good reason to do so.


Occasional Licences

Any person may object or make representations on these kinds of applications.

Objections

An objection for an Occasional Licence application must be in relation to a relevant ground upon which the Board can refuse an application. These are:

  1. that the Board considers that the granting of the application would be inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives
  2. that, having regard to: the nature of the activities proposed to be carried on in the premises; to the location, character and condition of the premises; the persons likely to frequent the premises, the Board considers that the premises are unsuitable for use for the sale of alcohol;
  3. that if granting the application would result in the Occasional Licence limit being exceeded (in relation to clubs and voluntary organisations, see more here)
  4. in the case of any application for a 24 hour on sales licence, that the Board is not satisfied there are exceptional circumstances which justify allowing the sale of alcohol on the premises for such a period
  5. any off sales application for off sales hours before 10am or after 10pm on any day must be refused

Representation

The 2005 Act does not specify that a Representation need be linked to a particular ground. It is good practice however to link your suggestions to a Licensing Objective.

Representations must be made within seven days of the application being advertised on the Board’s website.


How to object or make a representation

Objections and representations must be made in writing (including email) and within the appropriate timescale. You can use this online form:

Make an objection/representation to a premises licence application

You can also email an objection or representation to LAWLicensing@angus.gov.uk or by post to Angus Licensing Board The Clerk, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN


What happens next

Your objection or representation will be examined by one of our licensing team to make sure it is competent (that is, you have cited a ground for refusal).

This is not it being determined whether it is frivolous or vexatious.

If your objection or representation is not competent it will be returned to you.

Licensing staff cannot assist you in completing an objection or representation.

Depending on what kind of application you have objected to will determine what happens next.

New Premises Licence or Major Variation

Objection: You will be asked to attend a meeting of the Angus Licensing Board to speak to your objection.

Representation: We will first review the applicant’s response.

It may be possible to agree amendments to the operating plan or conditions for the licence that would be acceptable to all parties.

In such a situation the matter would be put before the Board to sanction any agreement without the need for parties to attend.

In the absence of agreement between parties, the matter will again be dealt with at a full hearing with all parties being required to attend.

Occasional Licence

Objection: An objection will be determined by the Board. You will be asked to attend a hearing to speak to your objection.

In other circumstances, it is possible that the application will be referred to the Convener, Vice Convener and any local member who sits on the Board.

In that case you will be notified on what happens next from our Licensing Standards Officer.

Representation: We will first review the applicant’s response.

It may be possible to agree amendments to the operating plan or conditions for the licence that would be acceptable to all parties.

In such a situation the matter would be put before the Board to sanction any agreement without the need for parties to attend.

In the absence of agreement between parties, the matter will again be dealt with at a full hearing with all parties being required to attend.


Attending a meeting of the licensing board

It is up to you whether you attend the relevant Board meeting. There is no requirement for you to do so.

However, you may wish to attend to observe the hearing and/ or to address the Board regarding your objection or representation.

Should you decide not to attend, your written objection or representation will be considered by the Board in your absence.

However, it will be a matter for the Board to determine what weight to attach to your objection or representation based on your written submission.

They must, however, have regard to it when making their decision.

You will receive correspondence from a member of licensing staff about a date, time and location of any hearing you are invited to attend.

The Board is required to in law to provide a copy of any objection or representation received to the applicant.

You will receive correspondence intimating to you the outcome of the application.


Contact

If you have any questions about making an objection you can contact our licensing standards officer.

Please note that they cannot make recommendations or help you write an objection or representation.

Contact a solicitor for independent legal advice.