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Licensing authorities’ wide discretion on decisions involving ‘lap-dancing’ clubs confirmed

Two recent cases (see below) have reiterated the wide discretion that local authorities have when considering applications for ‘sexual entertainment venues’ (SEVs) under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

In contrast to premises licences granted under Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005, SEV licences must be renewed annualy, by applying to the local Council. The cases have confirmed that when considering renewal applications, the licensing authority are entitled to refuse to renew a licence even when there has not been a material change in circumstances since the previous renewal (or since the licence was granted), as long as they address the relevant issues and provide cogent reasons for their decision.

R (Bean Leisure Trading A Limited) v Leeds City Council and R (Ruby May (1) Ltd) v Leeds City Council [2014] EWHC 878 (Admin)

Thompson v Oxford City Council [2014] EWCA Civ 94