Objecting to a licence application

Making an objection to or representation about a licence application

Any member of the public can submit an objection or representation in relation to an application made under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 or the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 if they disagree with an application, wish to bring some relevant information to the Council’s attention or wish to support an application for licence.

There is no statutory right to object to a temporary licence and therefore this guide does not deal with temporary licences. 

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 set out the legal requirements for an objection to be valid and capable of being considered by the Committee.

An objection or representation should:

  • Be made in writing (including by email)
  • Be clear about what the objection or the representation is about 
  • Include the name and address of the person objecting/making the representation
  • Be signed by that person or on their behalf (this can be done electronically).

What can an objection/representation be about?

An objection should set out any problems or difficulties that have been experienced relating to the activity covered by the licence that has been applied for. It should set out the reasons why a person thinks that a licence should not be granted, and these should be related to the grounds on which an application must be refused . A representation can contain any information that a person thinks is relevant to an application and may also set out support for the grant of a licence. 

When considering the information in an objection or representation, the Committee will decide whether or not it thinks that this shows that one of the grounds of refusal may exist. The Committee cannot refuse an application based on information about matters outside of the terms of the legislation or information about something which is regulated by another statutory regime, for example:

  • Loss of housing
  • That the granting of the licence would have a negative financial impact on other businesses
  • Any conditions that form part of the title deeds and use of property
  • General concerns about the impact of a particular business sector or that there are already too many of these types of businesses
  • Perceived potential negative impacts as a result of a licence being granted, such as loss of parking, additional waste, potential for noise, experience of the impact of another similar licence at another business/property.

What are the time limits for making an objection/representation?

  • Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 - Objection/representation must be received by the Council within 28 days of the application being made . 
  • Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 - Objection/representation must be received by the Council within 21 days of the application being made, or by any date specified in the notice of application.

What if I miss a deadline?

The Committee may consider late objections or representations if you include an explanation why the objection or representation has been made after the deadline and the Committee is satisfied that this sets out sufficient reason why it was not made in time.

What happens after i submit an objection/representation?

You will be invited to attend a meeting of the Licensing Sub Committee and ‘speak to’ (explain) your letter of objection/representation. If you decide not to attend the meeting this may have a negative impact on your rights to appeal if the Committee makes a decision that you do not agree with.

At the Committee meeting, a Council officer will introduce the application and highlight any relevant information to the Committee. You or your representative will be given the opportunity to speak to your letter of objection/representation. You should be aware that at this point an objector is not allowed to add anything that was not included in the original letter of objection.

The applicant or their representative will then be given the opportunity to respond to objections/representations and talk about why they think that the application should be granted. Members of the Committee may then ask questions. The Committee will then decide whether to grant or refuse the application, or they may decide to continue the decision until a later Committee meeting to allow for additional information/inspection to be undertaken. The decision and any voting will take place in public.
Following the Committee meeting you will receive a letter confirming the decision that was made and explaining your right to appeal if you are not happy with the decision.

If you want any further information abour making an objection or representation, please contact the Licensing Service on 0131 529 4208 or at licensing@edinburgh.gov.uk

Licensing - general enquiries

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Tuesday 10am to 5pm and Friday 8.30am to 3.55pm.

Telephone: 0131 529 4208

Fax: 0131 529 4207