Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report

Letter from the Clerk to the Home Office

The Committee will be considering this proposal for the fourth time on 1 March. Before then, the Chairman would be grateful if the Home Office could respond in writing to the following question which arises from evidence received by the House of Commons Deregulation Committee.

The Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee is focussing on the question of necessary protection, particularly for residents, and in this connection the evidence received by the House of Commons Committee on the Scottish situation may be relevant.

Two witnesses referred to the protections offered by the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976. The City of Edinburgh Council drew attention to the fact that it applied an "inaudibility condition" to regular hours extensions through Bye Laws made under the Act. This requires any amplified music or vocals etc to be inaudible in nearby noise sensitive premises after 11 pm on any day.

Strathclyde Police, also referring to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976, drew attention to the fact that it provides that "the following are competent objectors to an application for the grant, including provisional grant, renewal, permanent transfer of a licence or the regular extension of permitted hours:-

  • any person owning or occupying property situated in the neighbourhood of the premises to which the application relates or any organisation which in the opinion of the Board represents such persons;

  • a Community Council, which has been established in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, for the area in which the premises are situated;

  • any organised church which, in the opinion of the Licensing Board, represents a significant body of opinion among persons residing in the neighbourhood of the premises;

  • the Chief Constable, the Fire Authority or the Local Authority for the area in which the premises are situated. Provided that the due process has been followed, any such objector can be heard by the Board at the time when the relevant application is being considered."

The Chairman would like to know whether any equivalent legislation applicable to England and Wales could be used to provide necessary protection for residents in places such as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which might be particularly adversely affected by the deregulation proposal.

18 February 2000

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