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‘Shadow’ Licences

Residents can sometimes be puzzled by an application for a new premises licence for their local nightclub or bar, when it has been operating for years. Sometimes this can be an application by a freeholder or head leaseholder for a ‘shadow licence’, with the intention of protecting their interest should a licence held and operated by a tenant be surrendered or revoked, or lapses. It has recently been confirmed in Extreme Oyster & Anor v Guildford Borough Council [2013] EWHC 2174 (Admin) that this is a proper use of the procedure and complies with s16 Licensing Act 2003 providing that there was a ‘sufficient nexus’ between the business and the licensable activities.