The council has reclassified the consultation as an “informal exercise” to gather views on the levy rather than the formal consultation many thought it was.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers had complained that because of a faulty link on the council’s website operators had been unable to respond.
The council has now reclassified the consultation as an “informal exercise.”
ALMR Kate Nicholls said: “This is a significant change of tone and approach and hopefully suggests that the Council is softening its approach to a levy.”
According to legal specialists Poppleston Allen, the levy might not be approved until the New Year, and if plans do go ahead, could finally be implemented in April 2016.
Trade bodies the ALMR and the BBPA have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the impact of levys on the late night economy. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmons described the process as ‘a tax and penalises responsible operators as well as reducing flexibility.’