Loophole In U.K. Rave Law

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Raves and festivals in the UK lasting up to four days and involving as many as 500 people able to drink around the clock will be allowed without the public having any right to object under the new Licensing Act, it was discovered yesterday.

The loophole found in Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell’s new licensing laws comes only days before the end of the consultation period. Council leaders have called on ministers to rethink proposals that would allow temporary licenses to be issued without taking into account the concerns of residents about noise or nuisance, according to the Telegraph.

Only the police would be able to lodge formal objections, and then only on crime and disorder grounds.

Ministers are also busy resisting pressures from village halls and other small venues to remove restrictions on running occasional events without having to apply for full alcohol licenses.

The Licensing Act, which comes into force on November 24, replaces current legislation under which magistrates issue alcohol licenses and councils give permission for public entertainment.

Beginning next month, local authorities take full licensing responsibility, including issuing temporary event notices to people who do not want or need a full license.

Under the new rules, each event may have up to 499 people, including staff and organizers, attending at any time and may last for a maximum of 96 hours. Any one venue is limited to 12 temporary licenses per year.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport consultation paper says the new system is “intended to strike a balance between the rights of residents living close to premises where permitted temporary activities may take place and the desire to put in place a liberal and light touch regime.”

Jowell said she intends to keep the limits set in the Act, but may be prepared to vary the number “if experience showed the existing limits were either unnecessary or not sufficiently restrictive.”

While many are concerned that the new law would allow potentially disruptive events to go on without input from residents, the Government says the new regime will be “more streamlined,” less bureaucratic and cheaper. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers