Local councils (district or unitary) regulate four ‘licensable activities’ under the Licensing Act 2003:
- the sale of alcohol
- the supply of alcohol (i.e. in a members’ club)
- the provision of regulated entertainment
- the provision of late night refreshment (i.e. after 11pm).
Licensing authorities must carry out their functions with a view to promoting four statutory licensing objectives:
- prevention of crime and disorder
- prevention of public nuisance
- public safety
- protection of children from harm
There are three different kind of authorisation under which licensable activities can be provided:
- Premises licence: to use a premises for licensable activities, subject to conditions on the licence
- Club Premises Certificates: to allow a members’ club (working men’s club/political club) to engage in qualifying club activities, subject to conditions on the certificate
- Temporary Event Notices (TENs), which enable the user to carry out licensable activities without other authorisation.
Applications must be made to the licensing authority within whose area your premises is situated giving details of the opening hours; the type of activities that will be provided; and the steps that will be taken to promote the licensing objectives.
A designated premises supervisor (DPS) is required for premises that serve alcohol under a premises licence. The DPS needs a personal licence to supply or authorise the sale of alcohol. A DPS is not required for premises which do not sell alcohol, club premises or for sales made under a temporary event notice.
Those affected by new premises are entitled to make representations. If representations are received, a hearing must be held to consider them and decide whether to grant, refuse the application, or to impose conditions. A review can also be requested for those licences and certificates already in operation.
For further information or if you want to make a licensing application contact your local licensing authority (the district council or unitary authority where you live in England and Wales).
View the Licensing Act 2003: statutory guidance. This includes the guidance under which licensing authorities operate and reference to situations where an applicant has made a planning application and a licence to sell alcohol.