Philip Day: Appropriate measures

Philip Day, vice president, National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA), looks at upcoming legal changes that will impact on the events industry

Forthcoming legal changes in licensing will make it much easier for the public to object to or call for reviews of licences – there will no longer be a requirement that an objector lives close to the premises and it will only be necessary to establish that conditions (or even the refusal or revocation of a licence) are “appropriate”, rather than “necessary” to uphold the licensing objectives.

There is, however, some welcome news regarding temporary event notices (TENs). Firstly, it has been confirmed that one can give multiple notices for different bars, pavilions or stalls selling alcohol, all at the same event, provided that each is limited to less than 500 attendees.

Each TEN will now last for a week rather than 96 hours as before and the number of days that can be covered is increased from 15 to 21 in any calendar year. The total number of notices remains fixed at 12 for any given place. The rule requiring 10 clear working days notice for a TEN is also relaxed in that up to 10 “late notices” can be given by personal licence holders (two for non licence holders) – five working days notice is still required. The bad news is that in addition to the police, environmental health officers will also be able to object to a TEN and objections can be based on any one of the four licensing objectives, rather than only in relation to crime and disorder.

The date on which these changes will come into force has yet to be announced but word has it that the change will happen in good time for the Olympics. There is no maximum time limit for a temporary event notice, so to avoid the risk of objections on noise grounds, in particular, it might be a good idea to make your “application” sooner rather than later.

Another change expected soon is a re-definition of what amounts to regulated entertainment so as to exempt unamplified live music between 8am and midnight. Carol singers and marching bands will be amongst those to benefit but unlike the change to temporary event notices, this one has yet to clear all of its Parliamentary obstacles and hurdles.