Hastings reviews pub licences en masse

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Council License

Hastings: council encouraged objections to pubs and bars
Hastings: council encouraged objections to pubs and bars
Another council is reviewing licences of pubs in an area en masse to force new restrictions on trading. Hastings Council has been accused of actively...

Another council is reviewing licences of pubs in an area en masse to force new restrictions on trading.

Hastings Council has been accused of actively encouraging residents to make representations as it puts licences of six pubs and bars on George Street up for review.

The East Sussex council points to "noise nuisance" to residents from people drinking outside the pubs, which are located close to each other.

New conditions are proposed including banning outside drinking after a set time, employing doorstaff and making sure people are seated when drinking outside. Restricting the number of people outside to six is also proposed.

The MA understands the council issued a questionnaire to residents asking them to rate each premises from one to 10 based on how much nuisance they cause.

It's also understood the council convened a meeting of residents where they were encouraged to put forward objections. More than 60 representations have been made.

The six venues held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss what action to take.

Hasting's move mirrors that in Oldham, where the council said it would review 22 licences in one go.

Morning Advertiser legal editor Peter Coulson said: "It's an inappropriate way of reviewing licences but after Oldham, local authorities see it as a useful way forward."

Alex Frear, chairman of the local licensed victuallers association 1066 LVA, said no complaints had been lodged with the licensees from the council or residents, "leaving licensees unable to address potential issues".

Frear said the evidence used doesn't appear to relate to individual pubs.

Bob Brown, licensing services manager for Hastings, denied the council was following the blanket approach of Oldham, saying that not every licensed venue on George Street is being reviewed.

He said the Licensing Act's guidance allows for reviews of more than one venue when there's nuisance linked to the close proximity of outlets.

"We are complying with the [Licensing] Act. We are quite justified doing what we are doing," he said.

Related topics Licensing law

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