Why are we consulting?
Bristol City Council is seeking views from citizens, businesses and other stakeholders on a consultation to implement a Cumulative Impact Assessment in Bristol city centre.
The Cumulative Impact Assessment proposal would form part of Bristol City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy, which came into effect on 1 August 2020, with the council recommending further consultation on the proposed Cumulative Impact Assessment.
Bristol City Council, in its role as the licensing authority, must take actions to promote the four statutory objectives set out in the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Licensing Act");
- The prevention of crime and disorder;
- Public safety;
- The prevention of public nuisance; and
- The protection of children from harm
Under the Licensing Act, each licensing authority is required to publish a Statement of Licensing Policy every five years. This sets out the council’s policy for licensing and regulating businesses where there is the sale of alcohol, provision of regulated entertainment or the provision of late night refreshment. This normally covers businesses such as pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, off licences and late night food takeaways.
The last full policy review took place in 2019-2020 and came into effect on 1 August 2020.
Cumulative Impact Assessments
Due to a change in the law in 2018, in order to have a Cumulative Impact Area, the council must publish a Cumulative Impact Assessment. Bristol City Council consulted on a draft Statement of Licensing Policy and Cumulative Impact Assessment in 2019-2020, within which the council gathered engagement data from Bristol citizens. The draft Cumulative Impact Assessment can be seen here
A large number of licensed venues in a particular area may result in lots of people gathering in certain areas of the city. This can cause problems such as crime, disorder and public nuisance. Where a licensing authority (Bristol City Council) has evidence of such problems it can introduce a Cumulative Impact Assessment for a defined location. 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; unless the venue can show that there would be no adverse effect on the licensing objectives in particular preventing crime, disorder and public nuisance.
The Cumulative Impact Assessment creates a "rebuttable presumption". This means that any such applications will be refused unless the venue can show that there would be no adverse effect on the licensing objectives set out in the Licensing Act 2003, namely the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm and public safety. Representations can be made to the council when an application is made.
A Cumulative Impact Assessment can be drafted to apply to licensed venues that serve alcohol, such as bars and nightclubs, as well as to off-licences, late-night takeaways and other types of premises.