The Council will not take into account (i.e. the commercial demand for premises offering a particular type of licensable activity) when considering an application, as this is a matter for planning control and market forces.
However, it recognises that the cumulative impact of the number, type and density of licensed premises in a given area, may lead to serious problems of disturbance and disorder outside and some distance from the premises.
The cumulative impact of licensed premises on the promotion of the licensing objectives is a proper matter for consideration by the Council.
Representations may be received from a responsible authority / interested party that an area has become saturated with premises making it a focal point for large groups of people to gather and circulate away from the licensed premises themselves, creating exceptional problems of disorder and disturbance over and above the impact from the individual premises.
In these circumstances, the Council may consider that the imposition of conditions is unlikely to address these problems and may consider the adoption of a special policy of refusing new premises licences or club premises certificates, for example public houses, off-licences, restaurants and take-away establishments, because the area is saturated with licensed premises and the granting of any more would undermine one or more of the licensing objectives.
The Council will take the following steps when considering whether to adopt a special saturation policy:
- identification of concern from a responsible authority or representatives of residents about crime and disorder or public nuisance
- where it can be demonstrated that disorder and disturbance is arising as a result of customers from licensed premises, identifying the area from which problems are arising and the boundaries of that area
- consulting with relevant bodies and assessing the causes of any particular problems
- adopting and publishing a policy about future licence applications from that area
The Council will consider representations based both on the promotion of the licensing objectives and on the impact of the grant of the particular application. Objectors will be required to provide evidence to back up any assertion that the application in question would produce the cumulative impact claimed, taking into account that the impact will be different for premises with different styles and characteristics.
Quotas, (i.e. a defined numerical limit upon the number of premises in a defined area), will not be imposed in any circumstances, but the overall impact will be assessed and this may have an impact on the number of licensed premises in any given area.
The Council will review any special saturation policies at least every three years to see whether they have had the effect intended, and whether they are still needed.
The Council will not use such policies solely:
- as the grounds for removing a licence when representations are received about problems with existing licensed premises, or
- to refuse modifications to a licence, except where the modifications are directly relevant to the policy, for example where the application is for a significant increase in the capacity limits or operating hours.
The Council recognises that the diversity of premises selling alcohol, serving food and providing entertainment covers a wide range of contrasting styles and characteristics and will have full regard to those differences and the differing impact these will have on the local community.
It therefore also recognises that, within this policy, it may be able to approve licences that are unlikely to add significantly to the saturation, and will consider the circumstances of each individual application.
During the first 6 years of this Policy, no particular circumstances have arisen and, at the present time, it is not considered that any of the Councils area warrants consideration of a special saturation policy.