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Changes to Applications

Residents can sometimes be caught unawares by changes made to applications between the end of the consultation period for representations, and the hearing. These changes can be beneficial to all as they may incorporate reducing the extent of the application, or additional conditions to address the concerns raised in the representations. Sometimes they may be confusing to residents. There is no express power in the Act or Guidance for an Applicant to formally ‘amend’ the application, although changes (typically reductions in the scope of the application) are commonplace. A recent case (Taylor v Manchester City Council & TCG Bars Ltd [2012] EWHC 3467 (Admin)) has confirmed that although there is no express right, the nature of the decision making process means that there does not have to be. The judge decided that ‘the authority is bound to take those views of the licensee into account in exercising its discretion as to appropriate steps it might take in deciding the application in its original form.

The licence cannot be extended beyond the scope of the original licence and the variation proposed, so an instance where for example an applicant applies for extensions on Friday and Saturday but on receipt of representations modifies the proposal to more moderate extensions, but every night of the week, would not be permitted and would require a fresh application.