Appealing licensing decisions

When you can appeal a decision, 4 licensing objectives, making an appeal.

This guidance describes the process for appealing an application decision for a: 

  • new premises licence 
  • new club premises certificate 
  • variation to an existing premises licence 
  • variation to an existing club premises certificate 
  • provisional statement 

When you can appeal a decision

You can appeal a licensing decision if you made relevant representations during the application stage. 

Your appeal must be because you feel we: 

  • should not have granted the licence 
  • should have imposed different or additional conditions on the licence 
  • should have excluded a licensable activity from the licence 
  • should not have agreed to the named premises supervisor (not relevant for club premises certificate) 
  • failed to follow hearing regulations and this affected the decision 

4 licensing objectives 

Any appeal must address the likely impact on any of the 4 licensing objectives: 

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

Making an appeal 

Appeals should be made: 

  • in writing to the designated officer at the Highbury Corner Magistrates Court
  • within 21 days from the day we notify you of the application decision – please contact us if you need reminding of the deadline 

There is no set form or procedure to appeal. Please contact the Highbury Corner Magistrates Court to find out how to make an appeal. 

After appealing 

On receiving an appeal, a magistrates court has 3 options. It can:

  • dismiss the appeal 
  • substitute the decision being appealed against for another decision we could have made 
  • send the case back to us as the licensing authority and tell us how to deal with it in accordance with directions of the court 

Usually, there is an initial hearing at the magistrates court. At this time the court will decide if there is a case and if it will hear the case or send it back to us to deal with. 

If the court decides to hear the matter itself, it will normally set a full hearing date when it will decide the case.  


If you appeal against our licensing decision and are unsuccessful, the magistrates court can award costs against you. 

This means you have to pay the other parties’ legal costs as well as your own. 

However, the Magistrates Association and the Justices’ Clerks Society, has advised that awarding costs for a licensing appeal should be an exception and not a rule. They recommend that anyone with reasonable grounds for an appeal should not be penalised. 

After an appeal hearing 

The court will normally notify everyone of its decision, and the reasons for it, within 3 working days.

Contact the licensing team