What is a Cumulative Impact Area?

A Cumulative Impact Area is a designated zone where evidence has indicated that the number, type or density of licensed premises is impacting adversely on the licensing objectives, namely, crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. They are also known as stress or special policy areas.

How do I know if a premises is situated within a Cumulative Impact Area?

The council’s licensing policy will have details of any Cumulative Impact Areas and show the locations on a map or list the relevant streets.

What’s the effect of a Cumulative Impact Area?

Applications for new licences/variations to existing premises licences for premises within Cumulative Impact Areas will be subject to different policy considerations than the norm and will need to show why the grant of a new premises licence or variation application will not add to cumulative impact.

Are Cumulative Impact Areas effectively ‘no-go zones’ for new operators or those wanting to change the nature of a business?

Not necessarily; it depends on the council policy and approach of the licensing committee. Certain types of operation and premises are usually considered less likely to add to cumulative impact. Also, with the appropriate consultation and preparation of evidence it is often possible to present and condition an application in such a way to alleviate the concerns of a licensing sub-committee.

Is a premises licence more likely to be reviewed if located in a Cumulative Impact Area?

In theory, no. Cumulative impact should not be used as a ground to review a premises licence. However, large or late-night premises located in Cumulative Impact Areas will often be more closely scrutinised than normal.

Do applications in Cumulative Impact Areas automatically proceed to a Licensing Sub-Committee hearing?

No, they do not. If representations are not received, any application is automatically granted as sought.

How can landlords best protect premises licences in Cumulative Impact Zones?

Having a premises licence lapse irrevocably, be surrendered or revoked in a Cumulative Impact Area can be financially disastrous as it will not necessarily be possible to have a new premises licence granted on the same terms, if at all. Landlords can protect themselves by applying for a shadow licence (a dormant secondary licence held by a landlord on the same terms as the operational licence), being the licence holder themselves or registering their interest with the local authority so they are made aware of licensing reviews.

If you have further questions relating to the above or require legal advice on your premises licence, please get in touch with Niall McCann using the contact details below.

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.