Scottish consultation on SEV licensing: response summary published

As previously reported, the Scots government has introduced clauses in the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill 2014 designed to enable local authorities in Scotland to license lap dance clubs on much the same basis as had been the case in England and Wales since 2011 under the Policing and Crime Act 2009. Now a summary of responses has been published and can be read at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0045/00452591.pdf I am told that in time the responses themselves will be published too.

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Cheltenham SEV opens

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DIamonds gentleman’s club, licensed by Feb by Cheltenham Borough Council on 7th Feb 2014, despite 193 public objections, has opened under the trading name ‘Fantasy’ club. It is on the site of the former Voodoo Rooms nightclub on the Bath Road to the south of the town. See http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Lap-dancing-club-set-open-Cheltenham-tonight/story-21262734-detail/story.html This is a rare new opening of an SEV, with the majority of premises receiving an SEV licence since 2011 being operators who previously traded under a waiver on the Licensing Act 2003. It is worth noting that Cheltenham has previously offered a restrictive trading environment for SEVs, with concerns about striptease entertainment during Gold Cup week.

Leo Charalambides on amplified reasons

In Solicitor’s Journal- 17 June 2014 – Leo Charalambides refers to R (on the application of KVP Ent Ltd) v South Bucks DC [2013] EWHC 926 (Admin), to suggest the elucidation of decisions can be key in defending claims made against public bodies. He suggests a defendant is permitted to rely on the amplified reasons insofar as they elucidate the original reasons, but do not change or modify them. In this case he is referring to the case where an unsuccessful SEV applicant sought judicial review on the basis that the planning and licensing system reached different conclusions as to the appropriateness of a proposed lap dance club (Pandoras). Claiming that this was irrational, the applicant was presented with ‘amplified reasons’ for refusal: Justice Sales ruled such reasons provided a clearer justification for refusal, accepted the amplified reasons were not inconsistent with the earlier refusal and underlined the broad discretion that local authorities have to refuse licenses for SEVs, noting that the planning and licensing systems can draw different conclusions about appropriateness (one concerned with material impacts of development, the other with the impacts of use).

See ‘Loud and clear: amplified reasons in public law’ Solicitor’s Journal Vol 158 no 24 17-06-14