We are seeking views on proposals to keep tight controls on venue licensing in two areas of Torquay town centre.

As the licensing authority for Torbay, we are asking for views on a new Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA).

The Licensing Act 2003 gives us powers to publish a CIA when a concentration of licensed venues causes problems including crime, disorder and public nuisance.

This makes it much more difficult for venues in that area to apply for a new licence, to extend their operating hours, or to increase the size or capacity of their premises.

It means that any application in that area is likely to be refused unless the venue can show there would be no harm to the licensing objectives set out in the Licensing Act 2003. These are:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • Protection of children from harm

The current policy for 2021 to 2024 includes two Cumulative Impact Areas where there is a concentration of licences premises. They are Castle Circus, and The Strand, both in Torquay.

Under the law, the CIA must be reviewed every three years, and we are proposing to keep both areas in a new CIA for 2024 to 2027.

It is often not the case that licensed premises on their own are operating in a way that is detrimental to the licensing objectives. The problems can be caused simply by the concentration of premises in one area, and the number of customers gathering there.

In cumulative impact areas, there is a presumption that the licensing authority will refuse or impose limitations on applications which are likely to add to the cumulative impact unless the applicant can show that there will be no harm to the licensing objectives.

The publication of a CIA does not change how the licensing decisions are made. The Licensing Authority will always consider each application on its merits. However, a CIA is a strong statement of intent about an authority’s approach to licence applications.

Cllr Hayley Tranter, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, said: "We are determined to work with partners including the police and businesses to protect our residents and visitors, while ensuring our night-time economy continues to thrive in a safe environment.

"The proposals to maintain these two areas of Torquay town centre in our revised policy will continue to give us the power to take into account any potential adverse impacts from licensing applications. We want to hear from residents, businesses and all other interested parties with their views on the proposals, so I would urge you to get in touch."

The draft CIA has been approved by Torbay Council's Cabinet for a six-week consultation ending on Thursday, 5 October, 2023.

You can take part in the consultation by answering questions in a short survey on our website, where you can read the draft CIA, supporting evidence and the previous policy. You can also have your say by email to licensing@torbay.gov.uk or write to the Regulatory Service Manager, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR. The closing date for comments is Thursday, 5 October 2023.


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