Wandsworth Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2024-2029

Closed 12 Feb 2024

Opened 30 Oct 2023


*Please note: this consultation has been extended until Monday 12th February 2024*

The Council, as the Licensing Authority under the Licensing Act 2003, is now undertaking a consultation process to review and update its Statement of Licensing Policy.

As such, we would like to hear views from local businesses, local ward councillors, local residents and responsible authorities on the Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2024 -2029.

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 (selling hot food and drinks between 05:00 am and 11pm).

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 premises 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.

There are four Licensing Objectives under the Licensing Act 2003, which are:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Protection of children from harm

The Licensing Authority can only have regard to matters that relate to one or more of the Licensing Objectives listed above when determining its Statement of Licensing Policy.

Cumulative Impact Assessment

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 but we will be reviewing this next year. 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.

Proposed amendments to the existing Licensing Policy

The draft proposed policy largely mirrors the existing Policy which has generally worked well in promoting the licensing objectives across the borough. The opportunity has been taken:

  1. to remove sections that merely re-iterate legislation, instead referring the reader to the appropriate websites;
  2. to add a new glossary at the start of the Policy that explains terminology contained within the body of the Policy document;
  3. to try to make the Policy clearer to read by making drafting changes;
  4. to expand on the background and status of the statement of Licensing Policy and referring the reader to the development of a set of model conditions that will be published on the Council’s website;
  5. to refer the reader to the Council’s website to gain more up to date information about the Council’s policies and strategies;
  6. to expand the section profiling the borough;
  7. to expand on the section for Human Rights;
  8. to expand the matters that applicants are urged to consider when drawing up their operating schedules to reflect the representations commonly received from the Metropolitan Police and/or trading standards;
  9. to expand on guidance provided for cumulative impact and how the Council will deal with any concerns raised about significant number of premises concentrated in one area. Also confirming that the Council intends to review evidence for adopting a Cumulative Impact Policy next year in 2024;
  10. to expand on Public Health and the role of Public Health Director as a Responsible Authority under the Licensing Act 2003;
  11. to expand on information provided for policies supporting each of the licensing objectives;
  12. to add a new Appendix for Responsible Authorities Contact.

However, it is proposed to introduce a number of new additions to the Policy:

  1. To set other visions that the policy aims to achieve by setting the right balance through consideration of the needs of businesses, residents, visitors and other stakeholders. Also, by supporting the Night Time Economy (NTE), ensuring that local people and visitors to the Borough will have better opportunities to enjoy their leisure time safely without fear of violence, intimidation or disorder.
  2. Section 13 - Violence Against Women and Girls. A new section added to advise applicants and existing licence holders that the Council expects all licensed premises to have appropriately trained staff, who are proactive and vigilant around women’s safety at night. This includes a duty to capture information and report to the police where appropriate.
  3. Section 15 – Delivery Services. A new section is added to provide guidance to applicants and existing licence holders offering delivery services business models to promote the licensing objectives.
  4. Section 16 - Environmental Best Practice in Licensed Venues. Wandsworth Council is now building on its ambition to achieve the biggest environmental challenge to become a carbon neutral Council by 2030 and a zero emission Council by 2050. Wandsworth's vision is to be a community living within our environmental limits in an attractive, high quality local environment and to be the greenest Council in inner London by 2030. A new section is added to provide guidance to applicants and existing licence in tackling the climate emergency, improving air quality and creating a better, healthier living environment in our borough.
  5. Section 22 - Temporary Event Notices (TENs) has been reviewed to provide detailed information and clarity on the TENs process.

How to respond

Please read the Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2024-29 and give us your views using the online survey link below. If you require paper copies of any of the consultation documents or any other format, please contact us at licensing@merton.gov.uk or call 020 8545 3969.

Alternatively, you can email your comments to: licensing@merton.gov.uk or send written responses to:

Licensing Section (London Borough of Wandsworth), Regulatory Services Partnership, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Surrey SM4 5DX

Any comments you send should clearly state your name, any organisation or persons you may be responding on behalf of and your address. Please state that your comments relate to London Borough of Wandsworth Licensing Policy Statement.

The consultation runs until the 12th February 2024.

Next steps

We will then consider all the responses and amend the proposed policy as appropriate. The updated policy will then be considered by the Licensing Committee and by full Council next year in 2024.


  • All Areas


  • Open to all


  • Wandsworth Borough