Albert Court Residents Association and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Corporation of The Hall of Arts and Sciences: Admn 2 Mar 2010

Residents near the Albert Hall objected to the alteration of its licence so as to allow boxing and wrestling activities, and the extension of its opening hours. They said that the advertisements for the alterations failed to receive the prominence required, and in particular failed to advise the applicants directly.
Held: The local authority had blindly applied the results of a computer database system to guide its consultation. The results appeared bizarre, but that need not make them unlawful. The decision was quashed. The first dispute was as to whether the Council had a discretion to take account of late submissions. The Act contains a clear statutory procedure, with clear time limits for the making of an application, objections to it and for the resolution of such objections. It provides in clear terms that, subject to such representations, the grant of the application is to follow. Given this clear machinery, in exercising its functions under this Act, the Council is entitled to deal with representations made to it as licensing authority strictly as such. Subject to such representations the applicant is entitled to the grant of his application. It would be contrary to that entitlement for the machinery to be undermined by letting in late applications through a backdoor not provided for by the Act itself.
However the process was more than one of being merely courteous to neighbours: ‘the notification decided upon by the Council here was not a legal requirement, but once embarked upon it had to be carried out properly. This is all the more so in a case where the practice is clearly adopted in the light of statutory guidance to which the Council as licensing authority has to have regard. This is not to say that the notification exercise will fail because some residents have been missed, but it will fail if it obviously will not catch whole residential buildings as substantial as the one in issue here.’
As a consultation it failed to meet the standards required: ‘ The Council allowed its computer programme to dictate the notification process, even when a brief glance at the plan produced by that programme must have shown clearly that the stated wish of notifying those living in the immediate vicinity would not be achieved.’

McCombe J
[2010] EWHC 393 (Admin), [2010] 20 EG 146, [2010] PTSR (CS) 21, [2010] 2 EGLR 65, [2010] ACD 63, [2010] NPC 25
Licensing Act 2003
England and Wales
CitedThe British Beer and Pub Association and others v Canterbury City Council Admn 24-Jun-2005
The council had required of applicants for liquor licenses more detailed information than was required by the statute. The Association challenged their policy.
Held: One aim of the legislation is to allow licensing authorities to provide a . .
CitedCouncil of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service HL 22-Nov-1984
Exercise of Prerogative Power is Reviewable
The House considered an executive decision made pursuant to powers conferred by a prerogative order. The Minister had ordered employees at GCHQ not to be members of trades unions.
Held: The exercise of a prerogative power of a public nature . .
CitedGreenpeace Ltd, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Admn 15-Feb-2007
The claimant sought to challenge the defendant’s report on the future use of nuclear power, saying that the consultation process had been flawed.
Held: Procedural unfairness may not be so serious as to undermine the decision itself. Sullivan J . .
CitedRegina (Niazi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 9-Jul-2008
The claimants sought to challenge decisions to restrict payments made to victims of miscarriages of justice. A discretionary scheme had been stopped, and payments of applicants’ costs had been restricted to Legal Help rates.
Held: The simple . .
CitedBelfast City Council v Miss Behavin’ Ltd HL 25-Apr-2007
Belfast had failed to license sex shops. The company sought review of the decision not to grant a licence.
Held: The council’s appeal succeeded. The refusal was not a denial of the company’s human rights: ‘If article 10 and article 1 of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Licensing, Administrative

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.401978