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Noise guidance - licensed entertainment

Noise guidance for entertainment licence applicants

Under the Licensing Act 2003 Cornwall Council, as the Licensing Authority, must carry out its functions with a view to promoting the four licensing objectives:

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

The 2003 Act allows Cornwall Council as the Licensing Authority to consider what is appropriate to prevent public nuisance in terms of conditions attached to specific premises licences. The issues will mainly concern noise, but may include other nuisance matters, such as light, odour and litter. 

Businesses or individuals applying for an entertainment licence must describe the steps that they are going to take to promote the licensing objectives. Applicants must consider the effects of their proposed licensable activities on the local area and to describe how they are going to manage these risks.

Where there are no disputes, the steps that applicants propose to take to promote the licensing objectives, as set out in the operating schedule, will very often be turned into conditions that can be attached to premises licences.

However, where valid representations are received from a Responsible Authority or from an Other Person, and where informal mediation between all parties fails to reach an agreement, the application will go to a Licensing Hearing and will be heard and determined by the Licensing Committee.

The Environmental Health (Community Protection) Team is designated as the Responsible Authority for the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective and will be served with copies of all relevant applications for new premises licence or for the variation of an existing premises licence. 

In consideration of the promotion of this licensing objective, we focus on the effects of the licensable activities, such as music, at the specific premises on persons living and working in the area around the premises, which may be disproportionate and unreasonable.

In cases where we consider that the applicant has failed to describe steps that sufficiently manage the risks to the local area and promote the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective, we will make a representation. 

In order to help you get it right first time and to help avoid delays in your licence application, applicants seeking advice on a broader range of licensing matters may be interested in Licensing Direct offered by Cornwall Councils’ Licensing team. Advice on Noise and the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective, is available as an optional addition when purchasing Licensing Direct.

For those applicants who would like the reassurance of pre-application noise advice and/or assistance specific to the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective, direct from Environmental Health, without the need for generic licensing advice, these services may be purchased independently through NOISE Direct (Licensing)

Licensing authorities and responsible authorities are expected to publish information about what is meant by the promotion of the licensing objectives and to ensure that applicants can readily access advice about these matters.

Cornwall Council Environmental Health has provided specific information on the Prevention of Public Nuisance in our Noise Guidance for premises licence applicants and event organisers.

Further information on Licensing in Cornwall is provided in the Cornwall Council Statement of Licensing Policy with specific reference to POLICY 3 and the example conditions contained in Appendix I.

The Government are required to issue Guidance to Licensing Authorities on the discharge of their functions under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 . This is a useful reference for applicants and existing premise licence holders.