Brighton and Hove licensing policy is flawed says hotel manager

A hotel manager has blamed the planning system for allowing a city’s night time economy to run out of control.

Justin Manning, general manager at Queens Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton, said that the licensing system is fundamentally flawed. Mr Manning is one of a panel of speakers who will take part in the Big Debate organised by the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in association with The Argus.

He said that the city needs to have diverse venues but licensing decisions have been left up to people who have never worked in a commercial environment who grant licences willy-nilly. He said they do not think about the impact of their decisions.

Mr Manning will set out his views at the Big Debate later this month.

He said: “The venues are open to three or four in the morning and you have around 1,000 drunken people milling around. It is not just a matter of too many pubs and clubs it is also a question of off-licences. There are two all-night off-licences within 10 metres of each other in East Street. This gives people an incentive to come into the Lanes area when they leave the clubs to load up with more booze.”

A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “The Cumulative Impact Zone allows councillors to take into account the impact of other licensed premises in the area when considering an application for a new licence or variations to existing ones. The policy says that new licenses will not be issued unless there are exceptional grounds for doing so.”

To book your place at the Big Debate click here

Comments (2)

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1:40pm Wed 12 Sep 12

hovian says...

The problem is that even in the Cumulative Impact Zone, Licensing Panels say they have to consider each application on its own merits - and seem to take no account of other licensed premises in the area...Applicants are now routinely claiming "exceptional grounds" and getting away with it. Two new licenses were granted within the CIZ in the last two weeks alone..... this council's CIZ policy clearly isn't working...
The problem is that even in the Cumulative Impact Zone, Licensing Panels say they have to consider each application on its own merits - and seem to take no account of other licensed premises in the area...Applicants are now routinely claiming "exceptional grounds" and getting away with it. Two new licenses were granted within the CIZ in the last two weeks alone..... this council's CIZ policy clearly isn't working... hovian

10:02am Thu 13 Sep 12

East Brunswick says...

Hovian is right. The CIZ is not being applied correctly. The Councillors who sit on the Licensing Panel Hearings often do not know where the premises are! I know as I have been present at hearings. So NO consideration is given to the location or residents wishes. It is a fact that within a very short distance from most application addresses there are move often than not very many Licensed premises. This is why the CIZ was introduced, however all applications now claim 'exceptional circumstances'.
Hovian is right. The CIZ is not being applied correctly. The Councillors who sit on the Licensing Panel Hearings often do not know where the premises are! I know as I have been present at hearings. So NO consideration is given to the location or residents wishes. It is a fact that within a very short distance from most application addresses there are move often than not very many Licensed premises. This is why the CIZ was introduced, however all applications now claim 'exceptional circumstances'. East Brunswick

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