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Guide to making representations

Making representations in relation to licensing applications


Some licensing legislation provides a statutory right to make representations in relation to applications.

A “Representation” can be made either in support of or objecting to an application.

This guidance describes when you can make a representation, explains how to make a representation and outlines how Council deals with representations.

References to “Licences” in this guidance also apply to “Permits”, “Orders” and “Approvals”, as appropriate.


Which types of licence does this apply to?

Representations can be made in relation to applications for the following:

· Grant of an Amusement Permit

(The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985)


· Grant, renewal, transfer or variation of an Entertainments Licence or a Sex Establishment Licence

(The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985)


· Grant or renewal of a Place Approval as a venue for civil weddings and partnership ceremonies

(The Marriage Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 / The Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003)


· Grant, renewal or variation of a Pavement Café Licence

(Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (Northern Ireland) 2014)


· Grant of a Road Closure Order for a special event taking place on the road

(The Road Traffic Regulation (Northern Ireland) Order 1997)


Who can make a representation?

“Any person” can make a representation.


How will I know that an application has been made?

When applicants make one of these applications, they (or in the case road closures, the Council) must publicly advertise the application. This will be done in one of two ways:

1. Placing a notice at or on the premises. This applies to applications for Place Approvals and Pavement Café Licences.

2. Placing a public notice in a newspaper circulating within the district. This applies to applications for Amusement Permits, Entertainments Licences, Road Closure Orders and Sex Establishments.


Is there a time limit for making representations?

Yes. For each type of application, there is a limited, statutory consultation period during which a representation for or against the application must be made.

The consultation period varies as follows:

In relation to applications for amusement permits, entertainments licences, pavement café licences and sex establishment licences, representations must be made so that they are received not later than 28 days after the date of the application.

In relation to applications for place approvals, representations must be made within 21 days of the date when the public notice was displayed at the premises, although under certain circumstances, objections made after 21 days may be considered.

In relation to applications for road closures, representations must be made within 21 days from the date of the latest public notice advertisement – the last date for receipt of representations is stated on the public notice.


How do I submit my Representation?

If you wish to make a representation about an application you must:

  • do so in writing;
  • include your name and full postal address;
  • state the name and address of the premises to which the application relates; and
  • specify the grounds on which you are objecting or making representations to us.

If you do not do this, for legal reasons we are unable to consider your representation.

Anonymous representations will not be considered.

Representations should be sent to the Council’s Licensing Team, by post or e-mail:

· Licensing and Safety Advisory Group, Derry City and Strabane District Council, 98 Strand Road, Derry, BT48 7NN. · e-mail: [email protected]


Can my representation be treated in confidence?

In the interests of fairness, details of any representations received will be disclosed to the applicant, so that they are given the opportunity to respond.

Your representation cannot, therefore, be treated confidentially. A copy will be provided to the applicant; it will include your name and address, although other personal information such as your phone number or email address will be removed.

You should be aware that details of representations will also be included and/or summarised in the report for the Committee determining the application. While personal

details are redacted from Committee reports, the representation may be discussed openly at the Committee meeting, where members of the public and the media may be present.

In addition, Committee meetings are now broadcast on Council’s YouTube channel.


What happens next?

In the first instance, we will conduct our own investigations to establish all of the facts and, where possible, we will seek to resolve any problem without the need for a hearing. Where appropriate, this may involve mediating between you and the applicant for the licence and you may be invited to attend a mediation meeting with the applicant to discuss your concerns.

If the matter cannot be resolved and you still want to appear before and be heard by Committee, a hearing will be arranged.

In such circumstances, you will be sent a “notice of hearing” document before the hearing, which will confirm the details of the hearing, how to attend and the format of the hearing.


Do I have to attend the hearing?

You do not, therefore, have to attend in person, should you choose not to.

Once a hearing has been arranged you will be contacted to confirm whether:

  • You wish to attend the hearing and speak before the Committee
  • You wish to be represented at the hearing by someone, speaking on your behalf
  • You are content for the Committee to consider your written representation, in your absence.

You will be requested to inform us, not later than five working days before the hearing, which of these options you wish to choose.

It should be remembered that once a representation has been received in relation to a licence application, Council must have regard to it before reaching a decision on the application. Your written representation will, therefore, be included in the report to the Committee and will be considered.


What happens at the hearing?

At the hearing, the Committee will consider the application, as well as all representations and any objections which have been made by statutory bodies, such as the police and fire service.

In considering the application, Council must have regard to any representation, and allow the person to appear before, and be heard by, the council. The council will also give the licence applicant the same opportunity of appearing before, and being heard by, it, so that all parties are given the opportunity of putting their case to the Committee.

Council has approved a protocol for licensing hearings, which outlines the procedure that will be followed at the hearing. The Chairman will detail the procedure before the hearing, but a copy of the protocol may be requested in advance of the hearing.

While everyone who has made a representation, will be given an opportunity to appear before and be heard by the committee, for practical reasons, where there are large numbers of representations, the Committee Chairman may request that a limited number of persons speak on behalf of all the objectors. This is particularly likely where many similar representations have been received.


What are the possible outcomes?

Having considered all representations and any objections received from statutory bodies, the Committee will make a decision on (”determine”) the application.

The options available to the Committee are:

  • to grant an application in full as applied for;
  • to grant the licence subject to specific terms, conditions or restrictions, in order to address the representations or objections received;
  • to refuse the application outright.

In some cases, Committee may defer a decision, pending receipt of further information.

You will normally be told of the decision immediately following the hearing.

You should bear in mind that an application for a licence will not necessarily be refused simply because someone makes a representation objecting to it. The Council must carefully consider the legal grounds for refusing to grant a licence.


Can the committee decision be appealed?

The legislation does not provide any appeal mechanism for those who have made representations in relation to an application.

However, where an application is refused the applicant has the right of appeal to the County Court, within 21 days of notification of the refusal. An applicant may similarly appeal any term, condition or restriction imposed on them as part of the licence.


Further advice and assistance

This information is for general guidance only. If you require more detailed or specific advice, please contact us for more information:

Write to: Licensing and Safety Advisory Group, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Health and Community Wellbeing Service, 98 Strand Road, Derry, BT48 7NN

Telephone: 028 71253253

e-mail: [email protected]

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