Scrapping regulation will lead to noisy all night raves councils warn

Published on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 09:49
Posted by Scott Buckler

Plans to scrap regulation for live entertainment would leave residents and authorities powerless to stop noisy all-night raves, council leaders have warned

Organisers of entertainment events attended by up to 5,000 people would no longer need to seek permission to hold them, under licensing reforms being proposed by Government.

The Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, is urging the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to revise its plans or run the risk of creating a noise nuisance free-for-all.

Premises like nightclubs, pubs and bars need licences to sell alcohol, but the deregulation would allow one-off events to be held in private premises like warehouses at any time of the day or night without the need for authorities to be notified.

It would strip away the power of residents, councils and police to object to noisy, inappropriate and potentially dangerous events being held in their local area, while reducing police and council powers to tackle noisy events which spark complaints from neighbours.

Cllr Chris White, Chair of the Local Government Association's Culture, Media and Sport Board, said:

"We are completely behind the Government's intention to streamline the licensing process to make it as quick, easy and transparent as possible. But these proposals go too far.

"In its intention to cut red tape and box-ticking for village fetes, school concerts and amateur plays, this will inadvertently be giving 'carte blanche' for noisy parties, concerts and all night raves attended by thousands.

"Amateur productions, fundraising events, concerts and plays make a fantastic contribution to cultural life in this country and councils want to do all they can to encourage and support people looking to hold them. Organisers should not be deterred by red tape and we are firmly behind any effort to make the licensing process as quick, easy and transparent as possible.

"It is vital that authorities are still able to respond to the concerns of residents. People trust and rely on their local council to ensure events are suitable and safe for the areas in which they are to be held. Any changes to the licensing laws should strike a balance which ensures councils are still able to protect people who attend public events as well as those who work and live nearby."

In a response submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the LGA is proposing that:


  • The attendance limit for event which can be held without a licence is reduced from the 5,000 currently being proposed to 500.
  • Any entertainment events held between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am would still need permission from local authorities.
  • Unlicensed premises should be required to hold a licence if they repeatedly present a nuisance to local residents.
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