The information is provided as guidance only and is not intended to be either a comprehensive nor exhaustive explanation of the requirements and obligations under the relevant pieces of legislation.

If you have any queries please contact us. Alternatively, you may also wish to consider other sources of assistance, such as independent legal advice.

Under the Licensing Act a responsible authority or any other person may make a representation on an application. Representations may be either in objection to or in support of an application.

Representations must relate to the licensing objectives and may not be frivolous or vexatious.

This information can be found on our website.

The responsible authorities are:

  • Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
  • Devon Fire & Rescue Service
  • Devon County Council - Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
  • Devon Trading Standards (Weights and Measures)
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Mid Devon District Council - Environmental Health Services
  • Mid Devon District Council - Planning Services
  • Mid Devon District Council - Licensing
  • Primary Care Trust for Devon

Only representations that relate to one (or more) of the four licensing objectives can be considered. The licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

Representations must be in writing setting out the likely effects that the grant of the application would have on the promotion of at least one of the licensing objectives, and must clearly relate to the premises for which application is being made. For example, representations on the basis of general noise and disturbance, without evidence of a causal link to specific premises, are unlikely to be persuasive. It will be for the person making the representation to show reasons why the grant of the application is likely to affect them or their business.

Any person making a representation must include in it their name and address. Anonymous representations will not be accepted. The Act also requires the Council to disregard representations that are considered to be frivolous or vexatious.

As a general rule, frivolous representations are likely to lack seriousness. This does not meant that a trivial complaint would always be considered frivolous, but it must relate to one of the licensing objectives and demonstrate evidence of the points made in order to be relevant. Vexatious representations may, for example, arise because of disputes between rival businesses.

Yes, but they will need to specifically authorise someone to act on their behalf. Someone making a representation could ask, for example, a legal representative or friend to act on their behalf. Please note that the representative will act as an advocate for the person who made the representation - they can only present and explain the representation, and will not be able to present their own views on the application or add matters not referred to in the representation.

Send your representations, in writing to the Licensing Team at Mid Devon District Council, Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6PP.

The Licensing Team must receive representations no later than the last date specified in the notice of application - late representations cannot be considered. The representation period will be the 28 days following submission of a valid application.

Representations that are irrelevant, frivolous or vexatious must be disregarded, so, on receipt, the Licensing Team will check that the representations can be considered.

If your representation is not accepted as relevant or deemed to be frivolous or vexatious, the Licensing Team will contact you. The legislation does not provide any right of appeal against such a decision, other than by way of application for judicial review to the High Court.

A copy of the representation will be sent to the applicant by the Licensing Team. The applicant may try to contact the objector to see if any concerns can be addressed without the need for a hearing. For example, a condition could be added to the application which satisfies the objector and their concerns. As a result of this ‘mediation’ the representation may be withdrawn and the application granted, with the additional condition.

Where the representation is not withdrawn arrangements will be made for the Council's Licensing Sub-Committee to hear the application and the representations made to it. Hearings will take place in public, although the Sub-Committee may, in certain instances, decide that it is in the public interest to hold hearings in private.

The details of all valid representations (including the names and addresses of those making representations) will be included in a report that the Licensing Team will prepare for the hearing. These reports are public documents.

All who have made representations will be invited to attend the hearing, as will the applicant. Any person or responsible authority may be assisted or represented by any person at the hearing regardless of whether that person is legally qualified, but see the paragraph above about representatives at hearings for the restrictions.

The Licensing Team will notify everyone of the date and time of the hearing and provide details of the procedure to be followed at the hearing. This notification will include what we call a ‘Notice of Hearing’ and we ask you read this carefully and respond accordingly.

At the hearing the Sub-Committee will decide whether to grant the application in full, in part or not at all, and if granted what conditions should be imposed on the licence.

No, it is possible for all parties to agree that a hearing is unnecessary in some cases. In such instances, and subject to the Council also agreeing that a hearing is not required, the matter may be dealt with by the licensing team.

Yes, by giving notice to the Licensing Team no later than 24 hours before the hearing or in person at the hearing.

The Licensing Sub-Committee will comprise of three Elected Members. Although the Sub-Committee does not hear evidence on oath, as in a court, the Sub-Committee is required to determine applications in accordance with the evidence before it at the hearing.

They can appeal the decision to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receiving official confirmation.

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