The risks of not complying with Premises Licence conditions

19 May 2011

There is an increasing trend amongst licensing authorities and police towards taking enforcement action for breach of Premises Licence conditions. This can lead to formal review of the Licence, or even a criminal prosecution.

The developer concerned has begun an action in Judicial Review, but whatever the outcome, it’s worth considering what the imposition of this type of condition might mean in the big picture.

The amended Home Office Guidance states that “conditions must be expressed in unequivocal and unambiguous terms to avoid legal dispute”.

It does not seem that this (admittedly non-binding) advice was followed in this particular case; what does “inaudible” actually mean? Will every cough and sneeze from the premises count as a breach of the condition if it can be heard within the prescribed area? What is a “noise sensitive premises?” How is the operator to go about complying with this condition?

It’s worth spending a few minutes reading through your conditions to check that you understand them fully and are complying with them. There’s no point running the risk of possible enforcement action, with all the costs and stress involved.