Late-night Licences

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th October 2001.

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Photo of Ms Annabelle Ewing Ms Annabelle Ewing Scottish National Party, Perth

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library the guidelines issued by her Department regarding noise abatement best practice in relation to conditions set by councils on late-night licence applications; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

holding answer 22 October 2001

Guidance on conditions which might be attached to public entertainment or late-night refreshment house or night café licences in England and Wales concerning noise abatement has not been issued by the Department or by the Home Office when it was responsible for this policy area. In the case of public entertainment licences, local authorities have a broad discretion to impose such conditions, terms and restrictions as they see fit. In the case of late-night refreshment houses and night cafés, conditions may be imposed to prevent unreasonable disturbance to local residents, and "closing orders" may be imposed to the same end. Some local authorities have sought agreements with parts of the licensed trade on standardised conditions which might be adopted in connection with public entertainment licences. From time to time local authorities publish advice on associated matters in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive. The majority of local authorities in making licensing decisions generally adopt similar standards to those which they adopt in enforcing the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Noise Act 1996.

Alcohol licensing in England and Wales is the responsibility of licensing justices and not the local authority, and they have a broad discretion to refuse various extensions beyond normal permitted licensing hours to prevent unreasonable disturbance to people living in the neighbourhood.

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