Know your trading permit conditions
The Director of Liquor Licensing has approved the renewal of an extended trading permit at a tavern in the metropolitan area, even though the licensee had not complied with some of the conditions of the preceding permit.
The suburban premises, which operate under a tavern licence, was seeking to renew its existing permit to be able to continue trading on Thursday and Friday nights from 12 midnight to 2am and on Saturday nights from 12 midnight until 1am.
The application had the support of the local council and the local police did not oppose the permit renewal.
An objection was lodged to the application on the basis that the licensee had not complied with the conditions of the initial permit, including conditions relating to the provision of food and non-alcoholic beverages and seating arrangements.
The director accepted that the licensee had not complied with some conditions of the permit.
However, the director proceeded to renew the permit for a further two-year period but modified the permit conditions to ensure that the premises continued to trade during the permit period in a manner that was consistent with a "tavern/cafe style of premises".
This included reinforcing conditions relating to the provision of food and non-alcoholic beverages and seating arrangements and imposing additional conditions limiting the noise level of music and increasing the security of the premises.
The significance of this decision is twofold.
Firstly, it confirms the importance of licensees continuing to comply with permit conditions so as to reflect the initial purposes for which permits are granted.
Secondly, the decision demonstrates that in some circumstances the director may be prepared to take a pragmatic approach to non-compliance with permit conditions and departures from the original purpose of a permit, preferring to modify permit conditions appropriately rather than to refuse to renew or cancel the permit.
Katherine Eyres, solicitor
Ian Curlewis, partner
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