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.

Paddy and the team have significant experience of dealing with planning applications. Paddy has appeared before planning committees and inspectors on appeal and has a network of specialist planners who he can work with to ensure a seamless process.

 Please contact Paddy Whur on 07738 170137 or if you would like further information.