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Licensing Reviews

What is a review?

The fact that there is no renewal requirement for existing licensed premises (premises licences or club premises certificates) is designed to ensure that responsible operators who comply with the licensing objectives can operate with a minimum of interference. The government installed a procedure into the Licensing Act 2003 that dealt with licensed premises that are a problem to the local community and/or responsible authorities and this is called a 'Review'.

The review procedure enables certain parties to present evidence to a licensing hearing panel addressing the problems associated with a particular premises that holds a licence/certificate. The review must be in relation to at least one of the licensing objectives. On presenting this evidence a panel can decide the relevant course of action i.e. revoke the licence, suspend the licence, amend the licence by adding conditions or restricting the licensable activities and hours or they can refuse the review, which would leave the licence/certificate in it current format.

No more than one review will normally be permitted within any 12-month period on substantially similar grounds, except in exceptional and compelling circumstances or where it arises following a closure order by police. The Act provides provisions for the licensing authority to consider whether the review application is repetitious, vexatious and/or frivolous and therefore refuse the application on this basis.

There are no fees payable to the council for any party or individual who applies for a review of an existing licence/certificate.

Who can apply for a review?

The following persons can apply for a review:

  • Responsible Authority (Police, Fire, Environmental Health, Health and Safety, Trading Standards, Development and Building Control and Children Services).
  • Interested Party (the public). The Home Office has provided Advice for local residents - review factsheet (pdf 302KB) to advise local residents on what to do where the activities at licensed premises are causing a problem. To download this pdf you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, please use our advice page.

A review application triggered by an interested party must provide evidence to present to the council in support of their application. Any documents or photographs should be provided before the review hearing. 

An interested party can nominate a representative (solicitor, friend or local ward councillor) to express their comments on their behalf at the hearing. Any costs relating to solicitor/legal representation will be the responsibility of the applicant.

Application process

An applicant seeking a review must give written notice of the application to the Licensing Authority. The government has set a prescribed application for review which must be completed in full by the person(s) applying for a review.

On completion of the review form, the applicant must, on the same day, serve:

  • an original application for review to the Licensing Unit;
  • a photocopy of the application to the Licence Holder of the premises that are to be reviewed;
  • a photocopy of the application on all the responsible authorities.

Download the application form for review (pdf 372KB). To use it, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, please use our advice page.

It is advisable for applicants to keep either proof of postage, recorded delivery certificate or if delivered by hand, a short statement to confirm the time and date of when they served the application.

If they fail to serve the application for review to all the people above, the application becomes invalid and will be rejected.


The council is responsible for advertising the review application for 28 days as follows:

  • notices to be displayed on and around the premises that is being reviewed;
  • notices to be displayed in the council offices;
  • a copy of the public notice to be placed on the council website.

Please note under the legislation the council do not have to advertise in a local newspaper.

Review register

All applications for review will be placed on the review register.

Please note

The information provided is not legal advice. Legislation and procedures may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the current time. It is not necessarily comprehensive and will be subject to revision in the event of further government guidance and regulations. This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to or substitute for the relevant law.

The council is happy to provide information but cannot give advice on individual applications. Please seek legal and professional advice.

For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: Licensing Services - 01634 337107 or 337108 / Enforcement - 01634 337112 or 337106 or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR