Licensees face sterner test due to Cumulative Impact Policy

Would-be landlords will face a sterner test to open up after town hall chiefs announced they have adopted a Cumulative Impact Policy in North Tyneside.

The local authority said the move is in response to complaints from Tynemouth families over noise and drunken behaviour, particularly around the seaside village’s Front Street.

In future licensees wanting to open a new pub or off licence in the area will have to prove it will not have a detrimental impact on the local community – with licensing officers having a “presumption to refuse” unless landlords can convince them otherwise.

“As a council we have listened to the wishes of the residents of Tynemouth and I am delighted that the Council has supported their request for the implementation of a Cumulative Impact Policy,” North Tyneside’s elected mayor Norma Redfearn said.

The council said the new policy follows feedback from local people during a consultation earlier this year. A further consultation on these specific proposals saw 117 representations to the council, with 81% of respondents supporting the proposal to adopt the policy.

Residents detailed a catalogue of complaints about noise and drunken behaviour, with comments that some people felt uncomfortable walking down Front Street due to “a general public nuisance created by those drinking in the village establishments with incidents including urinating in gardens, vomiting and arguing in the street, dropping litter.”

Even though the Cumulative Impact Policy is in force, there will still be a requirement for anyone who objects to the opening of a new pub to make their case on individual licensing applications and if no representations are made then the council will be required to grant permission.

A spokesman for North Tyneside Council also said that the Cumulative Impact Policy “can never be an absolute ban on licensing approvals as the there may be occasions when it is considered appropriate by the Licensing Sub-Committee to depart from the policy.”

“This would apply, for example, if the premises seeking a licence is different in style and characteristics from the other existing licensed premises in the areas, that approval would not have a negative impact on the licensing objectives,” she said.

Similar cumulative impact policies are already in place in areas of Newcastle, with Tesco recently finding that it took more than two years, and multiple applications and licensing hearings, to be granted permission for a small, behind the counter alcohol concession at it’s new Grainger Street Metro store.