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Government launches licence consultation

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: The consulation seeks views on a proposal to simplify the way in which licence holders can make small changes to their licence, such as changing a shop lay-out.

Currently the industry is paying between 2.3 and 4.3 million a year to apply to vary licences, but by changing part of the licensing act, the Government estimates it could save businesses up to 2.8m a year.

Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "After two years it has become evident that it is not necessary for a premise to go through the full variation process if they are only making a small change, such as minor refurbishment.

"Local councils who are familiar with local licensed premises should have the discretion to decide when a variation is so insignificant that it's not necessary to go through the full variation process."

Licence holders are being asked to consult on the following:

Allow councils to decide if a change is insignificant enough to qualify as minor;

detail what is classed as a minor variation in the act itself, or simply do nothing.

The consulation ends in February 2008.