West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet, as the licensing authority, has voted to retain without change a licensing policy for Bury St Edmunds designed to help businesses while reducing the impact of any anti social behaviour.
Public consultation in July and August showed that residents and alcohol licence holders supported retention of the Cumulative Impact Assessment covering the Churchgate and Station Hill areas of Bury St Edmunds town centre. It means that businesses applying for increased alcohol trading hours need to provide evidence of how they plan to manage the impact on the local community, for example with extra door security.
The policy was first introduced for the historic core in 2014, renewed in 2017 with a slightly larger footprint to cover the Station Hill area and under law, lapses if not renewed within three years.
Andy Drummond, Cabinet member for Planning and Regulatory, said: “While these are unprecedented times for the licensed trade, this policy works to the benefit of businesses and residents alike and would have lapsed by default with the loss of any value it could continue to deliver. When the policy was introduced, our growing evening economy was being felt in quiet residential streets and its contribution to helping establish Bury as good for food and entertainment is supported in the responses to consultation.”
The consultation covered licences for on and off premises alcohol sales.
To make the six week consultation meaningful, the West Suffolk Licensing Team contacted every licence holder affected by the policy individually, using phone, email, letter and door knocking to make sure they had the chance to have their say.
Residents associations and local community networks were also contacted, to pass the opportunity to comment on to members, and to make representations on their behalf.