HL Deb 06 May 2004 vol 660 cc130-1WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in light of the judgment on 7 April of the Court of Appeal in the case R (Luminar Leisure Ltd) v Crown Court at Norwich, a special hours certificate granted under Section 77 of the Licensing Act 1964 as amended will have to be reviewed individually to see whether customers resort to the premises for music or dancing or substantial refreshment during the extra permitted time; and whether, in examining any application for conversion of an existing alcohol, public entertainment, theatre, cinema, late-night refreshment house or night café licence, to which a special hours certificate is attached, into a premises licence, the licensing authority will have a duty to ensure that the conditions specified in this judgment are satisfied. [HL2539]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey)

The Licensing Act 1964 does not provide for any automatic review by the licensing justices of special hours certificates issued under Section 77 of that Act and the judgment of the Court of Appeal on 7 April does not require one. Once issued, a special hours certifcate remains in force for the lifetime of the associated justices' on-licence, subject to its revocation. If the justices' on-licence for the premises is not renewed or is itself revoked, the special hours certificate would cease to have effect. If at any time while a special hours certificate is in force the premises ceases to hold a music and dancing licence issued by the local authority or a casino licence issued under the Gaming Act 1968, the Section 77 certificate is revoked automatically. At any time, it is also open to the chief officer of police to apply to the licensing justices for the revocation of a certificate, if:

  • the premises have not been used as mentioned in Section 77 of the 1964 Act; or
  • because a person has been convicted of selling alcohol at the premises outside of permitted hours; or
  • on the whole, the persons resorting to the premises or part of them are there for the purpose of obtaining intoxicating liquor rather than for an appropriate purpose; or
  • it is expedient by reason of the occurrence of disorderly or indecent conduct in the premises or any part of it to which the certificate relates.

Before revoking a certificate, the licensing justices must be satisfied that one of these grounds is made out. For the purposes of the Act and in relation to premises which are not casino or gaming premises, appropriate purposes include dancing and the obtaining of refreshments. Any consideration of such an application to revoke a certificate would need to take account of the Court of Appeal's judgment on 7 April.

Under Schedule 8 to the Licensing Act 2003, where an applicant applies to convert an existing licence and is successful, the licence must be granted subject to conditions which reproduce the effect of any restriction imposed on the use of the premises for the existing licensable activities under the relevant existing licence or licences, which includes a special hours certificate. When a special hours certificate is included in such an application, the requirements to provide music and dancing and substantial refreshment (or to be licensed as a casino) would be reproduced as a condition of the new premises licence.