Planning

Licensing applications often go side by side with planning applications, which are also made to the Local Authority, although the process and Local Authority considerations are quite different. It is important to note that planning permissions often impose restrictions as to the use of premises in the same way that licences do. These restrictions can apply not only to hours of operation, but also to the type of use that premises may be put to and the use of outside areas.

There is no point successfully applying for a new licence or to vary an existing licence, only to find that a planning restriction prevents a new licence or an extended licence being used as you intended. Applicants should always check whether the planning permission in place matches the proposed licensing hour and operational style before submitting licensing applications and, if necessary, submit an appropriate planning application.

This is as equally important for alcohol licences as it is for betting and gaming licences. As a planning permission for a restaurant may not necessarily permit use of those premises as a bar and a planning permission for a bingo hall may not necessarily permit the use of those premises as a betting office. Our team has been involved in making a number of planning applications in recent years for existing clients, both to extend the hours of operation at premises and also to change the class usage of particular premises.

It is also important to bear in mind that the use of outside areas, particularly in the major cities, is heavily controlled both by the Licensing Authorities and the Planning Authorities and that any signs which are displayed on the premises, or outside the premises, may be subject to planning restrictions. Signs which do no comply with the relevant planning permission, could lead to the operator being prosecuted under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

The firm has submitted a number of applications recently for change of use to Adult Gaming Centre (sui generis)  use. These applications have been submitted all over the country, ranging from places such as Carlisle, Great Yarmouth, Smethwick and including the heart of Westminster in Chinatown. Some of these applications relate to change of use from betting office (sui generis) to Adult Gaming Centre (sui generis) but other applications relate to change of use from retail to non-retail, financial services to non-retail, and the firm has been incredibly successful with these applications.

The team has significant experience of dealing with planning applications. Andy and Paddy have both appeared before planning committees and inspectors on appeal, and have a network of specialist planners and experts who can work with them to ensure a seamless process

Please contact Andrew Woods on 07738 170138 or andrew@woodswhur.co.uk if you would like further information.

 Please contact Paddy Whur on 07738 170137 or paddy@woodswhur.co.uk if you would like further information.

Please contact Amanda Usher on 07702 802506 or amanda@woodswhur.co.uk if you would like further information.