Hearings for sex establishments

Before refusing, renewal or application to transfer a licence you will be given the chance to appear before and be heard by, the relevant panel or committee who will determine the application.

Schedule 3 does not make explicit provision for objectors to be heard but this Licensing Authority normally allows this. A local authority is under a duty to consider any objection made within 28 days of the application but has discretion to hear later objections if the applicant is given the opportunity to deal with those objections.

If you're making a written objection, you'll also be given the date and time of the panel or committee hearing. You'll be invited to address the committee and ask questions about the application. All objectors and applicants can choose if they want to be legally represented at their own expense at the hearing. Or they can choose to ask a councillor to represent them.

The panel or committee will consider the applicants presentation, the Licensing Authority’s authorised officer report and representation or objections when determining an application.

Witnesses, supporting documentation and evidence

All parties may use witnesses and supporting documentation. Copies of documents and details of witnesses must be submitted to the Licensing Manager at least one working day before the hearing. In some circumstances, with approval of all parties, this may be done at the hearing.

If one of the parties wishes to show video or DVD evidence at the hearing they must tell the Licensing Authority 14 days before the hearing takes place. If possible, they should provide copies to the Licensing Authority at least seven days before the hearing to avoid unnecessary delays.

Officers may view the evidence before the hearing and advise the chairman of any sensitive images. They will also establish if any party objects to the video or DVD being shown. If an objection is raised then the parties concerned should give their reasons for and against the proposed showing.

The Licensing Authority will consider all the evidence given during the hearing and members may ask questions of officers, applicant and objectors. After the evidence has been presented, all parties will be asked to leave the room to allow for the Licensing Authority to come to a decision on the application.

When a decision is reached

When a decision has been made, the Licensing Authority will tell the applicant and relevant parties at the hearing. They will also give reasons for the decision.

The decision of the Licensing Authority will be confirmed in writing to the applicant and objectors attending the hearing within five working days of the meeting at which the application was considered, giving reasons for the decision.

For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing licensing@gravesham.gov.uk.

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