Licensing Act 2003 Premises Licences

A premises licence, or a club premises certificate, is a permanent licence granted for a specific location, that authorises the holder to carry on any or all of the following licensable activities:

  • the sale of alcohol;
  • the supply of alcohol by a club to its members and guests;
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (including plays, films, indoor sports, music and dancing); and
  • the sale of late-night refreshment (hot food and drink supplied between 11pm and 5am)

Premises licences can also be used to licence one-off events at which more than 500 people are expected to attend. For smaller one-off time limited events, a Temporary Event Notice may be more appropriate.

Eligibility criteria

Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • anyone who carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates;
  • a recognised club;
  • a charity;
  • a health service body;
  • a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital;
  • a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales;
  • anyone discharging a statutory function under Her Majesty's prerogative;
  • a person from an educational institute; or
  • any other permitted person.

Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.

Applications

Applications can be for a new licence or a variation of the hours or activities of an existing licence. Each application will be different depending on the type and number of activities applied for. Full details of how to apply are given in the guidance notes attached to the application forms.

An applicant is required to give notice of their application to a list of responsible authorities, which are statutory bodies including the Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

Applicants are also required to advertise the application, both on the premises, and in a local newspaper, to make both residents and businesses aware.

You also need to pay a fee for the premises. Application fees for premises licences applications and club premises certificates depend on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises, which is also used to calculate business rates. This value can be found through the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Premises that do not have a rateable value such as schools, church halls, open spaces and residential properties will fall into the lowest fee band.

If you are granted a licence then an annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence. An invoice will be sent to the licence holder when payment is due. If this is not paid then you may find that your licence is suspended and you are unable to trade legally.

From the day an application for a new licence or variation is made, there is a 28-day consultation period to enable either any of the responsible authorities or any other persons to make representations in respect of the application. These can either support or oppose the application. After 28 days, if no objections have been made, the licence can be granted. If representations/objections are made, the application will usually be referred to a hearing of the Licensing and Regulatory Sub-Committee to be decided.

Applications

Application forms for a premises licence applications is available for download below:

Premises Licence Application

Premises Licence Guidance

You can also apply online for many types of applications via our on-line applications page.

The most important part of the application form is the operating schedule. This tells Responsible Authorities such as the Police and people who live within the locality [although anyone living or working within South Staffordshire can comment] what you propose to do and how you intend to promote what are known as the licensing objectives.

These are:

1) prevention of crime and disorder
2) prevention of public nuisance
3) public safety
4) protection of children form harm

The council has a Licensing Act 2003 policy. This sets out what the council expect to see when an application is submitted.

It is also good practice to follow what is set out in the central government guidance referred to above.

Designated Premises Supervisor

Every premises that sells alcohol has to specify an individual to take responsibility for day to day control of a premises and to authorise other members of staff to sell alcohol. This person is known as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and must hold a personal licence. If the Designated Premises Supervisor stops working at the premises, the holder of the premises licence will need to apply to specify a new individual. If there is no DPS specified on the licence, no alcohol can be sold on the premises.

Certain 'community' premises can apply to remove the requirement to specify a DPS on their premises licence, for example, if a management committee are responsible for the licence instead of an individual, as with some Community Associations. The licence must be granted before any change can be made. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility before applying.

Making Changes to a Licence

A licensed business may need to make changes to their licence from time to time. Applications to vary the licence can be made for any of the following:

  • Changing the layout of the premises;
  • to provide additional licensable activities at the premises;
  • Increasing the times that licensable activities are provided; and
  • adding, removing or changing conditions imposed upon the licence.

Smaller changes that will not have an adverse impact on the licensing objectives can be made by applying for a Minor Variation. Larger changes that may have an adverse effect on the licensing objectives will require a Full Variation Application. This may be if you wish to substantially alter the licensable activities, and always if you are increasing the hours in which alcohol is to be sold.

If the changes are such that they would completely change the nature of the business, we may ask you to apply for a new licence.

Change of Ownership

If the business changes hands, an application can be made to transfer the licence to the new owner. The previous owner will usually be required to give their consent by signing a form, showing that they consent to transferring the licence. If a premises licence holder has passed away, or become insolvent, a transfer application must be made within 28 days, to prevent the licence from lapsing.

Alternatively, an Interim Authority Notice can be submitted within that 28-day period, which gives a further three months for a buyer for the business to be found.

Duration of Licence

Premises licences have an unlimited duration, unless they are for short events and the holder has specified an expiry date.

A premises licence will only cease to have effect if it is surrendered by the licence holder, revoked by the Licensing Authority, or if the holder dies, becomes insolvent, or becomes mentally incapable.

Reviews

The licensing authority and other responsible authorities use their powers to ensure that licensed premises operate lawfully. However, if there are problems that cannot be resolved through mediation or enforcement, a request may be made for a licence review.

Reviews can be initiated by local residents or businesses, or any of the responsible authorities. When any representations have been considered, action can be taken to amend a licence (for example, by imposing further conditions or changing the licensed times), or to suspend or revoke it.

Public Register

Details of all premises licensed by South Staffordshire Council are available in our public register.

Contact
Telephone: 01902 696804
Email: licensing@sstaffs.gov.uk

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