MA500: Licensing Act changes - what are the odds?

By Claire Churchard

- Last updated on GMT

Probability odds: Poppleston Allen partner Jonathan Smith assessed the Lords' recommendations for licensing
Probability odds: Poppleston Allen partner Jonathan Smith assessed the Lords' recommendations for licensing

Related tags Licensing act Proposal

The House of Lords select committee laid out its proposals for a “major overhaul” of the Licensing Act 2003 in early April. 

But the landmark review has been a little overshadowed by the snap general election. Delayed as it may be, change is definitely coming.

Are you in the club?

The MA500 club is open to multi-site pub operators and runs three nationwide events a year that include business-focused presentations from top experts and owner-operators.

Each event is followed by an evening networking study tour of new and exciting venues in the area.

To register your interest in attending the next MA500 meeting in Edinburgh on Thursday 14 September, email

Legal expert Jonathan Smith, partner at law firm Poppleston Allen, assessed the Lords’ recommendations and told MA500 delegates the probability of each of them coming into force.

  • Almost three quarters (72%) of the MA500 audience supported the Lords’ proposal to introduce minimum unit pricing to the Licensing Act. Smith says the proposal has a 50% chance of

being added.

  • Controversial recommendations to merge licensing and planning committees to streamline the process are much less likely to happen, says Smith, because the Institute of Licensing and the Local Government Association (LGA) were both against it. “Because of the LGA’s reaction, this is very unlikely to come in.” So the probability the committees will be merged is just 10%.
  • Likelihood that councillors will be required to receive a minimum level of Licensing Act training before sitting on committees: 75%.
  • Likelihood that the requirement to advertise all licensing applications in the local paper will end: 25%.
  • Move licensing authority appeals from the magistrates court to the planning inspectorate instead: 20%.
  • Licensing authorities should be given the power to object to temporary event notices: 20%.
  • Early morning restriction orders should be repealed: 70%.
  • Abolish the late-night levy: 20%.
  • Adopt a full ‘agent-of-change’ principle in planning and licensing guidance: 50%.

Related topics Licensing law MA Leaders Club

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