Residents risk being left in the dark over alcohol license applications if controversial new plans come into effect.

Under current measures, bars, clubs and shops wanting to apply for a new license or to change an existing one are required by law to advertise in the local paper.

But the government is proposing to scrap this requirement, meaning these applications could go unnoticed by the general public.

James Clappison, Hertsmere MP, was left feeling concerned over the controversial suggestion.

He said: “It is very important for people to be fully informed of the changes and obviously advertising is the best way to do that.

“We need to keep the local community in touch with what is going on.”

Earlier this year, Woods Bar, Shenley Road, was forced to shut its doors after the bar lost its license.

Hertfordshire Police felt owner Paul Hussein was not a fit person to hold a license and put forward a number of reports dating back to 2009 to back up the statement.

But in November, the Spirit Pub Company applied to Hertsmere Borough Council for a new license which has since been withdrawn.

Councillor Rosemary Gilligan, chair of the licensing committee on Hertsmere Borough Council, said she was unable to give a comment until reviewing the proposals.