Animal Licensing appeals
All licensable premises will be awarded a star rating by the Council. If a business wishes to dispute the star rating given on behalf of the local authority an appeal can be made.
If a business wishes to dispute the star rating given on behalf of the local authority the appeal should be made in writing (including by email) to the local authority within 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) following the issue of their licence.
The local authority has 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) from the date they receive the appeal to consider the appeal, within which time they must issue a decision to the business.
The costs of any additional inspections related to the appeal will be borne by the applicant unless it results in a higher rating being awarded.
If the business disagrees with the outcome of the appeal, they can challenge the local authority’s decision by means of judicial review. The business also has recourse to the local authority complaints procedure (including taking the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman where appropriate) if they consider that a council service has not been properly delivered.
Requests for re-inspections for re-rating purposes
A business may request in writing an inspection for re-assessing their star rating (including by email) and should outline the case for a re-inspection. This applies in cases where businesses with ratings of ‘1’ to ‘4’ have accepted their rating and have subsequently made the necessary improvements to address non-compliances identified during the local authority’s previous inspection.
Businesses should be aware that re-inspection for re-rating purposes could lead to a lower rating being awarded rather than an increase in rating.
Re-inspection falls under full cost recovery, and so the business will be required to pay for the costs of the inspection. There is no limit to the number of re-inspection visits a business can request, however, there will be a fee for each visit charged at full cost recovery.
If the case made by the business is not substantiated or insufficient evidence is provided, the local authority can refuse to undertake a re-inspection on that basis. If the business disagrees with the local authority’s decision to refuse a request for a re-inspection, they can raise the issue with the head of the licensing department within the local authority. If the matter cannot be resolved, the business has recourse to the local authority complaints procedure.
Suspension, variation or revocation of a licence
A local authority may at any time vary a licence on the application in writing of the licence holder, or on its own initiative, with the consent in writing of the licence holder.
A local authority may suspend, vary or revoke a licence without the consent of the licence holder if the licence conditions are not being complied with, there has been a breach of the regulations, information supplied by the licence holder is false or misleading, or it is necessary to protect the welfare of an animal.
The decision to vary or suspend the licence will be notified to the licence holder in writing. Following the issuing of the notice the licence holder will then have 7 working days to make written representation. The business will not be able to trade once the suspension of a licence has come into effect and cannot do so until the decision is overturned by the Local Authority.
The licence holder may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if they do not agree with the decision made by the local authority within 28 days of the decision.