The Cumulative Impact zone was deemed no longer suitable and the new policy cited the rapidly changing hospitality sector and that many argue that rather than improving an area, these kinds of policies can lead to a lack of choice for customers.
It also said such policies can add extra barriers to entry and extra red tape for new businesses looking to establish within the area.
This was alongside the fact there was no sufficient evidence post-pandemic to support the re-adoption of the special policy.
Number of decisions
The decision follows on from other Midlands-based councils including Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham, which have all removed their Cumulative Impact Policies.
Poppleston Allen associate solicitor Suraj Desor said: “As we have commented before, the Policing & Crime Act 2017 put Cumulative Impact policies on a statutory footing and brought in evidential requirements that must be satisfied before such a policy can be adopted and importantly requiring review of any adopted policy within three years.”
Desor outlined how it was inevitable many Cumulative Impact Policies still existing will be based on evidence prior to the coronavirus pandemic, soaring inflation and energy prices and looming recession, which are all affecting the hospitality sector.
He added: “As a result various council special policies that have been subject to review in the last couple of years have been removed (or in some cases suspended) based on similar reasons to those given by Melton Mowbray.
The solicitor also predicted what this could mean for similar policies over the next 12 months.
“We anticipate that further special policies due for review this year may result in the same outcome,” Desor said
“The removal of a Cumulative Impact Policy within an area relieves existing and in-coming licensed operators of the burden of rebutting a presumption to refuse new licences or material variations – an additional, at times challenging, hurdle for applicants to overcome.
“For those councils that have reviewed and removed these special policies, taking a pragmatic approach, it is most welcome news for the hospitality sector that has faced a devasting few years. it is clear that the landscape for each town and city will now be different and quite rightly council polices will need to respond to that."