Wandsworth Licensing Policy Consultation

Closed 1 Feb 2019

Opened 13 Dec 2018


We are reviewing our Statement of Licensing Policy and want to know what you think about alcohol and late night licensing in Wandsworth. 

We want the borough to have a thriving night time economy which brings people and businesses to the area but at the same time we need to protect the rights of residents to be safe and to enjoy reasonable peace and quiet in their homes. The Council’s Licensing Policy helps determine how we achieve this. 

Background to the consultation

Under the Licensing Act 2003, we, as the licensing authority, are responsible for licensing premises within the borough

  • For the sale of alcohol, for consumption both on and off the premises
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The sale of hot food and hot (non-alcoholic) drink late at night

Premises such as pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels and grocers/newsagents selling alcohol require a licence under this legislation, as do late night takeaways.

We are required to produce a Statement of Licensing Policy which sets out our approach to licensing in the borough. The policy gives clear guidance of our policies and expectations to licence holders, applicants, and people who may comment on licence applications or seek reviews of licences. Legally, we are obliged to consider our Statement of Licensing Policy when deciding opposed licence applications or applications for review. If any of our decisions are appealed to a Magistrates Court, the court must also consider the policy when deciding whether the original decision was correct.

Policies considered and proposed changes

1. Policy on licensed hours

In drawing up our original policy in 2004, we felt that it was important to set policy guidelines in respect of terminal hours. This went against the Governments guidance at the time which promoted 24 hour opening.

Our stance

We have re-stated the guideline hours in all our subsequent Policies and have reduced the guideline hours for live and recorded music where the licensed premises co-join residential property. We do not propose to alter the policy substantively. However, over the years there has been a change in the way we buy and consume alcohol. It is, therefore, proposed to amend the policy on licensed hours to reflect the growing movement to buy alcohol online rather than directly from shops and to accommodate the trend for traditional grocer shops/deli’s to also include a café on site.

2. Cumulative impact

The licensing authority may adopt a specific ‘cumulative impact’ policy for a particular area if it is considered necessary. Cumulative impact means the potential impact on the promotion of the licensing objectives of a significant number of licensed premises concentrated in one area. The effect of such a policy is that, where an application is received, the licensing authority itself will raise an objection and the application must, therefore, be considered by the Licensing Committee.

Our stance

We are not proposing to introduce a ‘cumulative impact’ policy for any area within the borough. There is no evidence at present that the number of licensed premises in any area of the borough is giving rise to a significant increase in crime and disorder or noise nuisance. The adoption of a cumulative impact policy would have no effect on existing licences and could not be used as grounds for a review. The lack of a specific ‘cumulative impact’ policy does not prevent people from opposing an application on the grounds that the premises will give rise to a negative cumulative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives. If complaints are received about a premises, effective action can usually be taken to resolve the problem by using the council’s existing powers.  

For the same reasons, at this time we do not propose to introduce any Early Morning Restriction Orders. If introduced, an Early Morning Restriction Order can ban the sale of alcohol at set times between midnight and 6am in a defined area. 

Your views

Your views are important to us. Please take the time to read our proposed draft Policy below, and send us your views and thoughts about any changes you would wish to see in the policy, and your reasons for them, by email to licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

The consultation runs until 1 February 2019 when we will consider all the responses and amend the proposed Policy as appropriate. The updated policy will then be considered by the Licensing Committee in late February 2019 and by full Council in March 2019 with the aim that the new Policy will take effect from 12 May 2019.


  • All Areas


  • Open to all


  • Wandsworth Borough