Posted: Friday, 19 April 2013 @ 15:50
From October 2012 every Licensing Authority has been able to decide whether to introduce a Late Night Levy in its area. In making the decision they must consider the costs of policing and other arrangements for the reduction of crime and disorder relating to the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am.
Current soundings suggest that very few licensing authorities are currently considering introducing the levy, but the majority may be holding fire until they see how the levy works in practice. There is a fear that it will serioulsy damage the late night economy.
When introducing the Late Night Levy the LIcensing Authorities have a discretion on the hours to apply, but the levy period must begin no earlier than midninght and end no later than 6am.
Unfortunately there is a one size fits all proviso, that it is all or nothing. If a Late Night Levy is introduced it will apply to all premises in the area of the Licensing Authority who are permitted to supply alcohol by their Premises Licence of Club Premises Certificate during any part of the late night levy hours. It does not apply to Temporary Event Notices.
So even the village pub will be caught if it falls within the criteria, unless it also satisfies a specific exemption which the Licensing Authoruty can include for a single pub village in rural communities.
The levy only aplies to premises which supply alcohol, whether for consumption on or off the premises. So it includes members clubs as well as hotels theatres and other premises. Licensing Authorities are allowed some discretion to exclude certain types of premises from thre levy, but they do not have to. They can exclude:
- Premises with overnight accommodation
- Theatres and Cinemas
- Community Amateur Sports Clubs
- Community Premises
- The single village pub
- Bingo Halls
- Business Improvement Districts
The deciding factor is what is permitted by the Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate. So it will not be possible to avoid the levy by closing before the levy hour strikes. However, a free application for a minor variation can be made before the levy comes into force, reducing the hours of supply to avoid the levy.
So what will the levy be? This has been prescribed by legislation, and as with many licensing fees is calculated by reference to the non domestic rateable value.
- Band A (NDRV 0 to £4300)-levy £229
- Band B (NDRV £4301 to £33000)-levy £768
- Band C (NDRV £33001 to £87000)-levy £1259
- Band D (NDRV £87001 to £125000 ) levy £1365
- Band E (NDRV £125000 and above) levy £1493
If a premises is in Band D and primarily or exclusively supplies alcohol the levy will be £2730. Similary a premises in Band E primalrily or exlusively supplying alcohol will pay a levy of £4440.
Because of the consultation requirments it is unlikely that any levy will be in force until June 2013 at the earliest.. A number of authorities are in the midst of their consultation process.
A specified proportion of the late night levy will have to be made to the local policing body, so it is to be expected that they will put maximum pressure on the authority to introduce the levy! .
Licensing Law Specialist
Tel: 0845 003 5639
Blog by Nigel Musgrove
Nigel has been providing dispute resolution advice as a solicitor for over 35 years. As well as advising SMEs and business owners on disputes he also offers a specialist licensing law service. View profile
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