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Cambridge City Council

Have your say about a licence

This page gives guidance on what to do if you want to support or oppose a licence application, or request a review of a premises licence once it has been granted.

The legislation defines those who can make a "representation" (support or oppose a licence in writing) as:

  • Responsible authorities: Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Health and Safety, Environmental Health, Planning, Licensing Authority, Public Health Board, Child Protection, Trading Standards and the Home Office. In addition, for vessels only: the Local Navigation Authority, Environment Agency and the British Waterways Board
  • Other persons: An individual, body or business

Representations must be “relevant” in terms of promoting the licensing objectives and may not be vexatious or frivolous.

Cambridge City Council, acting as the licensing authority, may make a representation in respect of any licence or variation application or to initiate a review of a premises licence, where other parties have failed to do so and where there are relevant grounds.

Any responsible authority or other person may make a representation about an application for a new premises licence or a variation of an existing licence. If no representations are received the licence will be granted.

How to know if a licence application has been made

Applicants must fix a notice to the premises for 28 consecutive days and advertise the application in the local press's public notices section.

The application will appear on our online licence register for you to view and you can make a representation online.

Temporary event notices

Temporary Event Notices are used to authorise events lasting no more than 168 hours, which are for less than 500 people at any one time. A maximum of 15 Temporary Event Notices can be submitted per premises per calendar year that cover no more than 21 calendar days.

These notices are delivered to the Council and the Police no less than 10 working days (5 working days in the case of a Late Temporary Event Notice) before the event.

Please be advised that it is only the Police and Environmental Health can object to such notices.

Licensing objectives

The Licensing Act is based around four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm.

Representations or reviews must relate to these licensing objectives and not to any other issues.

How to make a representation about a licence

Representations must received by the council's licensing team before the advertised closing date.

You can either:


Where representations are made in the form of a petition, the lead organiser must:

  • Provide their own contact details;
  • State clearly the application that is being opposed to, or supported and the reason for this shown on each page of the petition;
  • Ensure all names and addresses on the petition are clearly legible and preferably written in black ink; and
  • Show the date the signatures are collected on each page

Objections will not be accepted if they are libellous, slanderous, discriminatory or of an unacceptable nature. Objections relating to the impact of new businesses on existing trade cannot be taken into account.

We, as the Licensing Authority, treat a petition as being in support of a representation by the lead petitioner (or person who submits it). We will correspond with only that person and will invite that person to the hearing but not all of the signatories on the petition.

Representations not considered

The law requires that if a representation, or a request for a review, is considered by the council to be frivolous, vexatious or not relevant, then it may be denied. There is no appeal against such a decision.

A request for a review can also be denied if it repeats the grounds of a previous review and a reasonable amount of time has not passed since then.

What happens to a valid representation

The licensing officer will normally attempt to enable negotiation in order to resolve the issue. If no resolution can be found the representation, or review request, is required to go before a sub-committee of three councillors who will hear the matter.

If representations are received, a hearing will be held to determine the application. You may attend and speak in support of your representation.

Only those issues given in writing beforehand may be presented at the hearing. So any additional points may not be raised at the hearing.

The licensing officer is not able to work on behalf of anyone making a representation, nor help them to prepare their representation or speak on their behalf.

The sub-committee may grant a licence with or without additional conditions, exclude from the licence a licensable activity, suspend the licence for up to three months, take away the licence, or reject the application or review request.

There is no power to grant a licence for a limited trial period. A licence will normally be granted for an indefinite period - until it is suspended or taken away.


The applicant and anyone who lodged a representation may appeal against the decision of the council to the magistrates' court.

Reviews for existing premises licences

Any responsible authority or other person may apply to the council for the review of an existing premises licence.

To instigate a review, a form needs to be completed and sent to the licensing team with copies to the responsible authorities.

Normal office hours are 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am - 4.30pm on Fridays.

Service related queries

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form