JD Wetherspoon has lost its High Court case against the "cumulative impact" licensing policy of Guildford Borough Council.
The judicial review was taken by the pub company after the council refused to consider its application for a three hour extension at its Lloyds No 1 in Guildford.
Wetherspoon's lawyers argued that the council's "cumulative impact" policy for the area should only apply to new licences - not to applications to increase opening hours on existing ones.
Judges ruled that Wetherspoon would have to take into account the council's impact policy but they did rule that the council should presume to grant the extended hours.
Eddie Gershon, spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said: "It's likely we will apply for extended hours and we are aware we will have to take this policy into account."
It had been hoped that this case could have a knock on effect on other local authorities such as Westminster City Council which has a "designated stress" area.
For full details of the case see the next issue of The Publican.