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Licensing Act 2003 - Premises frequently asked questions

Do I need a premises licence?

You will need a premises licence if you intend to provide any licensable activities.
 

Do I need a designated premises supervisor?

If one of your licensable activities is the sale of alcohol, you are required to name a designated premises supervisor on your premises licence.
 

How do I apply for a premises licence?

Submit your application to the licensing authority (council) where your premises is situated either by post or email.

Your application needs to be accompanied by the following:

  • a plan of the premises
  • the required fee
  • an operating schedule
  • a form of consent from the individual who is to be specified in the licence as the designated premises supervisor if you are applying to supply alcohol

The Department for Media, Culture and Sport provide guidelines for applicants wishing to make a premises licence application.

You are required to give a copy of your application, along with the above documentation, to all responsible authorities in the area in which the premises is situated on the same day as the application is given to the licensing authority.

You must also advertise your application:

  • on A4 blue paper, displayed at the premises, for 28 consecutive days starting on the day after the application has been given to the council
  • in a local newspaper at least once during the ten working days after your application has been given to the council
     

Applications for Licences, Club Premises Certificates and Variations

It is important from your perspective that applications are made well in advance of the date upon which you wish the licence, certificate or variation to take effect. In the event that representations are received a hearing will be required. This will occur within  20 working days of the closing date for receipt of representations. It follows that it could be 8 weeks after your application is received before it is considered. If your application is refused or if conditions are imposed that you are dissatisfied with you have a right of appeal to the magistrates court. However it will take several months (possibly as long as 1 year) before the magistrates are likely to determine your appeal. If you do not currently hold a licence or certificate you will be unable to trade if the application is refused. If a request for a variation is refused the licence will continue unamended.
 

Who can object to the grant of my licence?

Once the council is in receipt of your correctly made application, the responsible authorities have 28 days in which they are entitled to make representation to your application.

Any interested party wishing to make representation has 28 days to do so starting on the day after your application has been given to the council, i.e. the day you advertise your application.

Responsible authorities and interested parties are entitled to apply to the council for a review of an existing licence.

All representations must be based on the four licensing objectives.
 

What happens if my application receives a representation/objection?

If there is an objection, a hearing of the licensing committee must be held within 20 days unless all parties agree that a formal hearing is unnecessary.

The licensing committee will consider representations with regard to the licensing objectives and may, on this basis, decide to grant, reject or alter the terms or conditions of the licence.
 

What can I do if my application is refused?

If, following a hearing, your application is refused you have the right to appeal to the Magistrates Court against the councilĀ“s decision within 21 days of being notified of the decision and the grounds for it.
 

What obligations do I have when my licence is granted?

Once you are a licence holder you must:

  • keep the licence (or a certified copy) on the premises at all times
  • produce your licence (or a certified copy) to any police constable or person authorised by the council
  • prominently display, at the premises, Part B (the summary)
  • notify the council and apply for a copy if your licence is lost, stolen or destroyed
  • inform the council if you wish to surrender your licence
  • notify and apply to the council any variation you wish to make to your operating hours, activities, conditions and any alteration to the premises
  • notify the council of any variation to the designated premises supervisor
  • notify the council of change of name or address
  • notify the council and apply for transfer of a licence
  • notify the council and apply for an interim authority notice following death etc of licence holder
  • pay an annual fee due on the anniversary of the grant date of your licence
     

What do I do if my licence is lost or stolen?

You must inform your issuing licensing authority in writing as soon as possible. You must also include the fee for the reissue of your licence.
 

What do I do if I change my name or address?

The holder of a premises licence must inform the issuing licensing authority in writing as soon as possible. You must also include the existing licence and the relevant fee.
 

How do I vary my premises licence?

Submit your application to the licensing authority where your premises is situated either by post or email.

Your application needs to be accompanied by the following:

  • the current premises licence
  • the required fee
  • an operating schedule

You are required to give a copy of your application, along with the above documentation, to all responsible authorities in the area in which the premises is situated on the same day as the application is given to the licensing authority.

You must also advertise your application:

  • on A4 blue paper, displayed at the premises, for 28 consecutive days starting on the day after the application has been given to the council
  • in a local newspaper at least once during the ten working days after your application has been given to the council
     

How do I change the designated premises supervisor on my licence?

Submit your application with:

  • the current premises licence
  • the required fee
  • a DPS consent from

The designated premises supervisor must inform the issuing licensing authority if he or she wishes to be removed as designated premises supervisor and give the premises licence holder a copy within 48 hours of the notice being given to the council. The designated premises supervisor must also send a notice directing the licence holder to send to the licensing authority the premises licence.

You are required to give a copy of your application to the chief officer of police in the area in which the premises is situated and to the relevant Home Office immigration and enforcement team on the same day as the application is given to the licensing authority.
 

How do I transfer a licence?

Submit your application to the licensing authority where the premises is situated.

Your application needs to be accompanied by the following:

  • the current premises licence
  • the required fee
  • a consent of transfer from the individual who is specified in the licence as the designated premises supervisor if you are applying to supply alcohol

You are required to give a copy of your application to the chief officer of police in the area in which the premises is situated and to the relevant Home Office immigration and enforcement team on the same day as the application is given to the licensing authority.
 

How long will I have to wait for the grant of my premises licence?

The licensing authority must determine new and variation applications within two months.

Transfer and DPS variation applications have immediate effect (unless stated otherwise), so will begin when the application is received by the licensing authority.
 

Does the wholesale of alcohol require a licence?

No - providing that the sale is not made to a member of the public.
 

If I sell alcohol via the internet, or mail order, do I need a licence?

Yes - the premises or warehouse where the alcohol is being dispatched will require a premises licence.
 

How can I make a representation or object to an application?

If you are an interested party you are entitled to make comment on an application and make representations to the council within 28 days of the application being advertised.

Representations must be in writing and based on the four licensing objectives. You can use the interested party representation form.

A full copy of your objection (including your name and address) will be sent to the applicant and will be a public document at any hearing of the application in question.

If you are not prepared to allow your objection to be made public, it may be ruled inadmissible or carry less weight than an objection made public.

Responsible authorities and interested parties are entitled to apply to the council for a review of an existing licence.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provide the following guidance notes for interested parties:

  • making representations
  • appealing licensing decisions
  • applying for a review
     

What is a provisional statement?

A provisional statement is an assurance that a premises licence will be issued once a premises has been constructed, altered or extended. A provisional statement does not have limited duration.

You only need to apply for a provisional statement if you are unable to supply all the required information for the grant of a premises licence (i.e. name of designated premises supervisor, the times when licensable activities are to take place, etc.).

Applying for a provisional statement is the same process as applying for a new premises licence but uses a different application form.
 

Will tacit consent apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to premises and club premises licences, provisional statements, transfers and variations. The Act requires the licensing authority to hold a hearing prior to determining an application where representation have been received from relevant authorities or others. Tacit consent would override this requirement. It is notable that during the transitional period application for a licence without variation were deemed granted after 2 months if undetermined whereas application for a variation which were not dealt with within that time scale were deemed to be refused.
 


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