The drive to create a freewheeling 24-hour café culture and night-time economy has been a mixed experience.
Local authorities, charged with striking the balance between permissiveness and regulation, are caught in the crossfire between energetic, aspiring entrepreneurs and outraged residents who may, on the one hand, be the victims of unscrupulous commercial activity or, on the other, the purveyors of simple nimbyism.
Where does a given case sit in the framework provided by the Licencing Act 2003 and the Revised Statutory Guidance?
We enable local authorities, licence holders and applicants to get the balance right, both by providing licensing subcommittees with effective legal guidance, enabling them to make well-reasoned, defensible decisions, and by advising and representing when those decisions are challenged. Should an inevitably costly appeal be fought or settled? This involves an appreciation of the nature of licensing appeals, they are rehearing’s, not simple reviews. Their parameters have been shaped by a long line of High Court and Court of Appeal authorities. A shrewd, well-informed exercise of judgment is required. This should be based on sound advice.