The Licensing Act
The Licensing Act regulates the sale and supply of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of refreshment late at night. This regime is controlled by local authorities.
Licence fees for premise licences and club registration certificates are based on the rateable value of the premises, and you can check the rateable value on the Valuation Office Agency website.
Covid-19 Advice to Licence Holders
On 24 June, Government issued the long-awaited guidance documents to pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and other licensed premises both open and hoping to open following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 June. View the guidance documents relating to pubs, bars and restaurants, or the guidance for hotels and other accomodation, which detail how licensed businesses can open safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Business and Planning Act
On 22 July 2020 The Business and Planning Act 2020 came into force, which allows for a number of relaxations to existing legislation affecting alcohol licensed premises and pavement café licensing. The aim of the Act is to assist these hospitality premises in their economic recovery.
Off Sales of Alcohol and associated Conditions
Firstly, premises that are NOT currently authorised to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises at all (in other words “on sales only”) will be automatically authorised to provide off sales until 30 September 2021 without the need to make any application to the Licensing Authority. This relaxation is subject to a cut off time of 11pm or the closure time of an existing outside area, whichever is earlier.
Further any restrictions on the licence are suspended in so far as they are inconsistent with this new authorisation for off sales. For example, if you had a condition stating "No off sales” this would not apply.
For premises are already authorised to sell alcohol for consumption both on and off the premises, the following conditions or types of conditions are suspended:
- any conditions restricting the time when an off sale may be made (when the premises is also open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises) subject to a cut off time of 11pm or the closure time of an existing outdoor area, whichever is earlier;
- any condition that would prevent alcohol being sold in an open container (for example a condition requiring off sales to be in sealed containers only)
- any condition that would prevent off sales where it is a sale for delivery
In other words, if you have on sales and are open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises then you can provide off sales in open containers to the times you are permitted for on-sales, up to a maximum of 11pm or the existing close time for an outside area.
The only premises which this relaxation will not apply to are Club Premises (holders of a Club Premises Certificate) or premises where a "Disqualifying Event" has occurred in the previous three years. This would include if the licensing authority had refused to grant a premises licence authorising off sales, or to vary a licence to include off sales, or if the licence was varied to explicitly exclude off sales.
The relaxation of the legislation and conditions relating to off-sales will continue until 30 September 2021 or until the permission is revoked or excluded.
Where problems occur relating to the above relaxations, any Responsible Authority (such as the Licensing Authority, the Police or Environmental Health amongst others) can apply for an Off-Sales Review, which could result in these relaxations being reversed where premises are found not to be upholding the Licensing Objectives.
The only thing you need to do in order to take advantage of this relaxation is produce a statement that you are using this entitlement and this must be displayed in a prominent location along with your premises licence summary. The Government have produced additional guidance to assist with these changes.
Pavement Licences for Outdoor Seating
The Business and Planning Act also allows for a temporary fast-track process for businesses to apply to the Licensing Authority for the placement of outdoor seating and furniture on the pavement outside their premises. This enables operators to maximise their capacity whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. Applications will be consulted on and determined within 14 days, and licences will be granted for a minimum duration of 3 months, or a maximum of 30 September 2021. Conditions will be applied to such licences regarding their safe use, and entitlement to such licences can be revoked or notices to be served to make improvements where problems occur.
The government have produced additional guidance to assist with Pavement Licensing. Please download an application pack and return the application form by email to [email protected] A member of the team will check over the application to ensure it is valid.
Recent Changes in April 2017
The Policing and Crime Act 2016 and Immigration Act 2016 have resulted in a number of changes to the Licensing Act 2003. As of 6 April 2017, Individual applicants, including those in a partnership which is not a limited liability partnership, cannot be issued with a licence if they do not have the entitlement to live and work in the UK, or if they are subject to a condition preventing them from doing work relating to the carrying on of a licensable activity. Applicants will now be required to demonstrate they have entitlement to live and work in the UK as part of the application process (Acceptable proofs listed at the end of the relevant application form). Any licence granted will become invalid if the holder ceases to be entitled to live and work in the UK. There is a new duty for existing personal licence holders to inform the Licensing Authority if they are convicted of a relevant or foreign offence, or if they are required to pay an immigration penalty and the Licensing Authority can now suspend or revoke a personal licence under such circumstances. There are also some changes to the Summary Review procedures.
A summary of all the changes can be found in the factsheet below:
No requirement to renew personal licences
From 1 April 2015, it is no longer necessary to renew a personal licence. Section 115 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been amended by section 69 of the Deregulation Act 2015, removing the requirement to renew personal licences. Your existing licence is still valid, but if you have changed your details or require a replacement, please contact the Licensing Service on 0151 443 2300. There is a fee of £10.50 for the issue of replacement personal licences.
Changes as a result of Immigration Act 2016
From 6 April 2017, Individual applicants, including those in a partnership which is not a limited liability partnership, cannot be issued with a licence if they do not have the entitlement to live and work in the UK, or if they are subject to a condition preventing them from doing work relating to the carrying on of a licensable activity. Applicants will now be required to demonstrate they have entitlement to live and work in the UK as part of the application process (Acceptable proofs listed at the end of the relevant application form). Any licence granted will become invalid if the holder ceases to be entitled to live and work in the UK.
How to apply for licences relating to this act
Please find in the 'downloads' section below the relevant application forms relating to the Licensing Act.
Children in entertainment
If you are employing children in films, TV, sport or modelling or other similar areas, you will need a license. Please see our information about children in entertainment.
Statement of Licensing Policy
In accordance with the act we have published a Statement of Licensing Policy and all licensing decisions made by the council will have regard to this policy. You can download the policy below.
Tacit consent applies to every type of application. Where tacit consent applies this means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion period.
You will need Adobe Acrobat to view PDF documents. If you do not already have this, you can download it from the Adobe website. If you require documents in an accessible format, please contact us.