The Licensing Act 2003 means the greatest change the pub, food and entertainment industry has faced for nearly a century
If you or your business sell alcohol, provide public entertainment, such as live or recorded music, theatre or cinema or sell hot food or drink after 11pm, then you must apply for a new licence or certificate.
This will be the case whether you hold an existing licence, or it is not yet up for renewal or that you do not currently need a licence e.g. late night takeaways.
You or your business must have a licence, so apply now if you have not already done so. The licensing service is on hand to provide guidance and support to businesses. So whether you need information with regard to the Act generally or need support on how to make applications then officers will be pleased to assist.
A premises licence will be required by the owners of pubs, clubs, night clubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, takeaways, shops and other retail outlets selling alcohol. The licence will be issued for the life of the business rather than one or three years.
Applicants for a premises licence will need to identify in their operating schedule how the premises will meet the four licensing objectives (see statement of Licensing policy below). If alcohol is sold, the person responsible for such sales must hold a personal licence. The act strictly regulates the grant of personal licences which are valid for a maximum of ten years.
Live performances or live displays of nudity may require a sex establishment licence.
The act provides that the council must automatically grant all applications unless it receives an objection relating to the licensing objectives in which case there will be a hearing to decide whether to grant or refuse the application. Each application will be considered on its merits and all relevant objections will be taken into account.
Detailed information including the licensing regulations, application forms, fees etc can be found at the Home Office website.
Your completed application form must be accompanied by the following:
A copy of your completed application form together with any supporting documents should be sent to all of the Responsible Authorities (details at the end of the application form) at the same time.
Advertising your application
Once your application has been accepted by the Licensing Service you must advertise on your premises, the advert must be on light blue paper. (for correct font size please contact Licensing)
An advert must also go in the newspaper within 10 working days of submitting your application.
Failure to comply with Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 regarding advertising will deem your application rejected.
If you wish to hold an ad-hoc event in England or Wales, you must give a standard temporary event notice (TEN) to your local licensing authority no later than ten clear working days before the event.
For a late TEN this must be submitted to the local authority no later than nine working days but no earlier than five working days prior to the event. This calculation does not include the date of submission nor the day of the event. These day calculations do not include public and bank holidays.
You must be 18 years or older to give a TEN and can give a maximum of five standard TENs per year or two late TENs per year. If you are a personal licence holder, you can give a maximum of 50 standard TENs per year or ten late TENs per year.
Your event must involve no more than 499 people at any one time and last no more than 168 hours, with a minimum of 24 hours between events. A premises cannot be covered by more than 15 individual TENs per year or more than 21 days in total per year. The form and guidance notes can be found at the Home Office website .