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Public nuisance and licensing

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced fundamental changes to the licensing of many premises serving alcohol and refreshments or providing entertainment. One of the four key licensing objectives is the prevention of public nuisance including noise, odours, litter and light pollution.

The council’s Environmental Health Service is the designated ‘Responsible Authority’ for public nuisance issues under the Licensing Act. This means that it must be served with copies of all relevant applications for new premises licences or variation of existing ones. All applications are checked for likely impacts of public nuisance and appropriate controls are sought. Our published protocol explains how we do this through consultation responses submitted to the Council’s licensing team.

We expect applicants to carefully assess the risks of public nuisance impacts and propose adequate solutions to prevent them.

We have prepared guidance on preventing public nuisance (PDF, 36KB) to help applicants recognise the likely public nuisance problems and find ways of preventing or controlling them. We are preparing more detailed guidance on noise.

Applicants are also invited to contact us at any early stage for any further advice we can offer to help ensure high quality applications before formal submission.

Last updated: 29 February 2016

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