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Closure powers were imposed to allow the police or the council to quickly close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.
A closure notice does not have to involve the courts and will normally be served by the council or the police. Following the issuing of the closure notice, an application must be made to the magistrates court for a closure order, unless the closure order is cancelled in the meantime.
A closure notice has the power to close premises for up to 48 hours but it cannot stop the owner or those who live in the premises having access.
A closure order can close premises for up to 6 months and can restrict all access.
Both the order and the notice apply to land or any other place including residential, business, non-business and licensed premises. Orders can cover houses, flats and apartments, common areas near residential property, garages and sheds, factories, shops, pubs and clubs, public buildings, community centres and car parks. This is regardless of whether they are owned by the occupier or rented to tenants.
A closure notice can be issued if a nuisance to the public or disorder near those premises has occurred or will occur if the closure power is not issued.
A closure order can be issued if disorderly, offensive, or criminal behaviour had occurred or will occur or there has been a serious nuisance to the public or disorder near the premises which has occurred or will occur if the order is not used.
If a closure notice is breached you could be sentenced to up to 3 months imprisonment.
If a closure order is breached order you could be sentenced to up to 6 months imprisonment.
If you are facing allegations which could lead to a property you own or live in being made the subject of a closure order then it is essential to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our team at Minton Morrill are highly experienced in representing clients affected by closure orders and can argue for applications to be dismissed by the court.
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