Portsmouth – welcome changes to new licensing policy after BBPA representations

Portsmouth City Council has made some positive changes to its new licensing policy, following representations from the BBPA. The changes, on both public health and the value of pubs to the local community, have been welcomed by BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds.

The BBPA had urged the Council to ensure that public health representations should only be considered on the basis of individual premises, rather than applied wholesale, and only when proven detrimental to one of the four existing licensing objectives. Although not limited to health representations, the Council accepts that “standardised conditions will be avoided and the licensing authority acknowledges it may be unlawful where they cannot be shown to be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives in an individual case.”

The revised policy acknowledges that “this is essential to avoid the imposition of disproportionate and overly burdensome conditions on premises where there is no need for such conditions.”

The Council has also made another change, recognising the value of well-run and responsible community pubs, as urged by the BBPA submission.

Brigid Simmonds comments:

“These are worthwhile changes, which show the value of the BBPA’s work in influencing policies at the local authority level. These changes should keep the focus on individual premises, as the law intends, and ensure that health does not become a more general licensing objective.

“It is also good to see the policy recognising the value of pubs, as we had urged. Over 3,600 jobs in Portsmouth rely on brewing and pubs, adding £76 million to the city’s economy, each year.”