Opinion: It’s good to talk …..

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It’s good to talk….

It never fails to amaze me how often confusion arises simply because people don’t talk to each other.
In the following circumstances it is almost always prudent to pick up the phone:
· When lodging a late notice temporary event notice.
It is best to speak with the police and environmental health to ensure that the nature of the event is properly explained and the necessary reassurances can be given. What you do not want to happen is that a representation is made (which means that the application is automatically rejected) simply because those statutory authorities feel under time pressure and, without the necessary reassurance, feel that they have to make a representation.
· If the police bring a review of your premises licence.
The receipt of a review application in respect of your premises is a stressful event and it can be tempting to adopt a siege mentality against the body (usually the police) which is arguing that the premises licence should be restricted in such a way. However, it is often the case that the applicant’s formal request (i.e. to revoke the licence) is merely an opening gambit to attract attention and that negotiation can lead to a settlement amenable to both parties.
· Before lodging an application for a new premises licence/variation to an existing one.
Pre-consulting can pay off. If you speak to the statutory authorities before making the application you can get a better idea as to what (if any) conditions they would like to see proffered with the application.
· When lodging interim authority notices or transfers because a premises licence has lapsed due to death/insolvency etc.
Given that it is illegal to carry out licensable activities if a premises licence has lapsed and that the licence will be lost forever if action is not taken within a month it is crucial to ensure that the local council is phoned after the application for an interim authority notice/transfer is made to ensure safe receipt and to make sure it is being properly processed.
You might think that some of the above sounds unnecessary but failure to do so could end up with you phoning your licensing solicitor instead….

About Author

Niall McCann

Niall NcCann is a specialist licensing solicitor at one of the most highly regarded law firms in the leisure sector, Joelson Wilson LLP. He has considerable experience of dealing with the whole ambit of licensing law for the on-trade, including any associated gambling and regulatory issues. As an advocate Niall appears before Courts and Council Sub-Committees across England and Wales representing everyone from multiple operators to celebrity chefs. He also gives regular presentations to the licensed trade and their professional advisors on legal developments and practical steps to maximize business opportunities. He has been published extensively in magazines such as the Estates Gazette and On Trade Review and regularly writes articles for The Publican in addition to answering readers’ legal questions. www.joelsonwilson.com

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