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Opportunity to extend operating hours and reap the rewards

By Imogen Moss, solicitor Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Open all hours: extension to your operating hours could add to your bottom line
Open all hours: extension to your operating hours could add to your bottom line

Related tags: Finance, Licensing, Legislation, Property

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the face of many towns and cities and unfortunately, we have seen the closure of many nightclubs up and down the country.
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Other licensed venues may now look at whether there may be an opportunity to extend their hours.

Before you look to submit an application to extend your hours to the licensing authority, you may want to take a moment to consider the following:

  • Think about the landscape of your local area. Have one or more late night venues closed down in the local area and as such will there be demand in this area for premises with later hours on certain days? Do you need to think about terminal hours and the prevention of large numbers of customers exiting venues all at the same time?
  • Look at your current planning permission for the premises. There may well be restrictions on hours for the premises.
  • If you have a lease on the premises, check your lease documents to see if there are any restrictions.
  • Take a look at the council’s statement of licensing policy. This is vital to ensure you understand if there is a cumulative impact policy (CIP) in place. The effect of having a CIP usually means material variation applications that receive relevant representations will be refused unless the applicant can demonstrate that granting the application will not add to existing levels of, most commonly, crime and antisocial behaviour. You will need to carefully consider the extension of hours and whether you will need to offer any additional conditions. You will also want to check whether, if your application is granted, you will need to pay a late night levy – an additional cost to your business.
  • You may wish to seek guidance from your local licensing, police and environmental health officers before submitting any application. Early discussions with the authorities help draw out whether there will be any problems with your proposed extension of hours.
  • It is a good idea to fully review your licence before submitting any application for a variation. Think about old or conflicting conditions, also check any outdated restrictions on your hours for licensable activities and opening hours on days such as Christmas Day and Good Friday. Check to see if your premises licence contains any last admission times, which could impact upon or conflict with your proposed extension of hours. Also, don’t forget to check if you have any restrictions regarding the times any external areas can be used as you may wish to amend these too.

Contact Poppleston Allen​ for more details and its other services.

Related topics: Licensing law

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