Wednesday 11 December 2013
Following the introduction of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, alcohol licence applications are assessed against broader criteria, including the impact of the operation on amenity and good order.
All applications must now be accompanied by a completed "Amenity and Good Order" questionnaire.
This helps the District Licensing Committee assess whether the applicant's business will comply with new criteria relating to the impact of the business on the community and neighbourhood.
The assessment takes into account factors such as the location of the premises and the suitability of the applicant.
Based on the new criteria the public now have more grounds to object to the granting or renewal of a licence application than they have in the past.
Council Licensing Inspector, Alison Batcheler, says the amenity and good order requirements are intended to ensure communities have more say in licensing and to encourage operators to consider the impact their business has on their neighbourhood.
"These changes really put the onus on operators of licensed premises to show they can and will be a good neighbour," she said.
There will also be changes to license fees, which will be based on a risk assessment of the premises. This will see the type of premises, maximum hours, and number of endorsements considered when establishing the fee for a particular premises.
The assessment will use a national methodology to ensure all premises throughout the country are assessed in the same way.
Mrs Batcheler says this will see high risk premises paying higher license fees and low risk premises paying less.
"Having the risk profile of the operation determine the fees is a fairer way of charging than the old approach of everyone paying the same," says Mrs Batcheler.
"The more monitoring and enforcement associated with a premise the higher fees will be while low risk premises take up less of our time so will pay a reduced fee," she added.