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The Licensing Act 2003 governs the sale and supply of alcohol in England and Wales. The Act has four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder.
  • public safety.
  • the prevention of public nuisance.
  • the protection of children from harm.

Under the Act, licensing authorities have responsibility for issuing  premises licences and club premises certificates.

Section 5 of the 2003 Act requires a licensing authority to publish a statement of its licensing policy at least every five years.  A policy must consider any cumulative impact assessment (CIA) the authority has published under section 5A. The purpose of a CIA is to help the authority limit the licences that it grants in areas where there is evidence to show that the number or density of licensed premises may be contributing to problems that are undermining licensing objectives.

Detailed information on statements of licensing policy and CIAs is available in chapter 14 of Home Office guidance for licensing authorities (PDF)(August 2023).


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