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Objecting to an application

Interested Parties are:

  • persons who are likely to be affected by the application
  • residents
  • residents' associations
  • businesses
  • representatives of an organisation or body.

These individuals and bodies are entitled to make representations on applications for licences. They may also nominate a representative who can act on their behalf, for example a legal representative, friend or local ward councillor.

An Interested Party can only object based on issues revolving around the four licensing objectives:

How to make a representation

To reduce the length of hearing, all objectors must follow a procedure to register their concerns about or opposition to the grant, variation or review of a licence. All representations must be made in writing (letter or email). People opposing an application must specify the grounds of their opposition based around the four licensing objectives.


Many petitions cannot be taken into account due to the way they have been completed. The council can only consider the following layout:

  • an outline of the main issues of concern at the top of each page of the petition;
  • a column allowing each person who signs the petition a chance to add why they wish to object;
  • each person must write their full name and address, the date and their signature.

When submitting a petition, one person on the list must be nominated as a contact. The Licensing Unit can then notify that person of the procedure so that they can inform the others on the petition. It is also helpful if, at the hearing, at least two of the signatories to the petition can be called as witnesses.

Saturation or cumulative impact

Objections on these grounds must provide evidence that the addition of the premises in question would produce the cumulative impact claimed.

Period of representation

Representations must be submitted to the council within a period of 28 consecutive days, starting from the first day after the application was submitted.

Relevant representations

If the council considers that a representation is relevant, it must hold a hearing to consider it, unless all those involved agree that this is unnecessary. If no representations are made, a licence or variation must be granted, subject to mandatory conditions.

What are relevant representations?

For a representation to be relevant it must:

  • relate to the effect of the granting of the licence on the promotion of the licensing objectives;
  • be made by an interested party;
  • not have been withdrawn;
  • not be frivolous or vexatious.

Irrelevant representations

A representation from an interested party is irrelevant if it does not directly relate to the application and to the promotion of the licensing objectives. A representation relating to general crime and disorder in an area will be deemed irrelevant if it cannot be linked positively to the particular premises.

Frivolous and vexatious representations

A representation from an interested party is deemed frivolous or vexatious if it fails to meet any of the following criteria:

  • justifiable cause;
  • significance;
  • objectivity.

Repetitious representations

A repetitious representation one that:

  • is based on a ground for review specified in an earlier application for review that has already been determined;
  • is identical or substantially similar to a representation already considered by the council;
  • has already been considered irrelevant, frivolous or vexatious by the council.


Please note that the information above 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