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Licensing hearings

A hearing is held if anyone objects to or comments on your application. A hearing will also be held if your application isn't in line with council policy.

At the hearing anyone who has raised an objection or commented will explain their reasons. You can also speak to support your application and respond to any objections or comments. Members of the licensing committee may ask you or the objectors questions and in all cases you can respond.

Who are the members of the committee

They are up to councillors, a legal representative and someone from Administration Services

The legal representative is there to give other members of the committee advice if they need it and the rep from Administration Services is there to make a note of the meeting.

If everyone attends there could be 24 members there.

How long is a hearing

There is no set time and it will last as long as it takes the committee to get all the information they need to make a decision on your application. You will be given up to 15 minutes to put your case forward but that doesn't include any time you spend asking questions or summing up your case after everyone has spoken.

What paperwork should I provide

You should provide any paperwork and letters to support you application at a Licensing and registration office at least three working days before your hearing

Can I be represented

You can have a solicitor there or you can represent yourself. If you have a solicitor they can explain any legal issues to you and talk to the committee for you. You can take someone else to represent you as long as only one person is speaking for you and the chair of the committee is told who they are.

What happens at the hearing

  • The chair will introduce themselves
  • The objectors will explain their objections or comments then you can ask them questions
  • Committee members can ask questions arising from the everyone's comments
  • You will be asked to put your case forward to the committee
  • The objectors can ask questions about your application
  • Committee members can ask questions arising from your comments and the objectors' questions
  • Objectors are given the opportunity to sum up their cases then you sum up yours
  • If the hearing is held in private you and objectors will leave the committee room after the hearing us finished but you should all stay outside in case the committee wants to ask any more questions. You don't have to wait if the committee has said you can go
  • if the hearing is held in public you and objectors will be asked to leave the room but members of the public will stay and the committee's discussion will be held in public

How should I ask questions

You need to ask the chair of the committee if you can speak and you should call them 'chair'. Other members are called 'councillor'.

What happens next

The committee can:

  • grant your application under our standard conditions for a three-year period
  • grant your application under our standard conditions and extra conditions for a three-year period
  • grant your application for less than three years under certain conditions
  • grant your application for fewer hours than you had applied for
  • refuse your application

When will I be told the decision

You will usually find out after the hearing. if not we will write to you within 24 hours of the hearing.

What can I do if it's refused

If you haven't already seen a solicitor you may want to now. You or your solicitor can ask us to give you written reasons for the committee's decision. We must provide this within 10 days. You must do this within 21 days of the date of the decision. However, as you only have 28 days to appeal to the sheriff you should ask for the reasons as soon as you can.