This article first appeared in the Journal of Licensing, October 2018
“Don’t take too seriously all that the neighbours say. Don’t be overawed by what the experts say. Don’t be afraid to trust your own common sense”
- Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care (1945)
The Good Old Days?
I remember the first time I saw an expert report in a licensing case. It thumped down on the bench in front of me at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, just as its author made his way to the witness box to give evidence. Following a short in-chief confirmation of the report’s content (that there was no demand for my client’s proposed off-licence), it was my turn to cross-examine. No notice had been given that an expert was to be called. The year was 1996; the rule seemed to be that, when it came to licensing, there w...
Mohammed Shabir (t/a "Lifestyle Express") v. Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Magistrates' Court (DJ Sarah Griffiths) 16/6/16
An odd one here.
In 2012, an off-licence in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, applied to modestly increase its (morning) opening hours so that they were in line with competing outlets. The Police put in a representation in opposition. As part of a deal with the Police so the representation would be withdrawn, the premises agreed to submit to various conditions. So far, so typical.
However. One of the conditions, condition 9, read as follows:
The Designated Premises Supervisor or other responsible person appointed by the Designated Premises Supervisor shall take part in Police led initiatives such as “Off Watch”, “Alcohol Watch”, “Safer Summer Streets” or similar as well a...