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Licence - Alcohol and Entertainment

Licensing Act 2003 - Brief Introduction - Aims of the new Licensing System

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced changes to the way in which premises that sell alcohol or provide public entertainment and late night refreshment are licensed.

Each Licensing authority produced a Licensing Policy Statement which laid down how they assess each application. 

Brief information about the Licensing Act 2003.

The above legislation received Royal Assent in July 2003, and applications for new licences were accepted after the 7 February 2005.

Premises such as pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, off licences, supermarkets, cinemas and theatres, village halls and community halls were all affected. Also premises, vehicles and mobile structures selling hot food and hot drinks between the hours of 23.00hrs and 05.00hrs need to be licensed.

The aims of the new licensing system are to:

  • Simplify the application process cutting out unnecessary red tape
  • Transfer the liquor licensing from magistrates to local authorities so local needs and issues can be considered when licenses are granted
  • To achieve a reduction in crime and disorder and encourage responsible drinking
  • To balance the needs of licensees and the communities in which they operate

Each Licensing Authority has produced a Licensing Policy Statement which lays down how they assess each application and how the four licensing objectives are met. The four licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  •  Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

The new licensing regime consists of:

  • Premises Licence - a single scheme for licensing a premise allowing licensable activities to be carried out on that premises. Licensable activities include the sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment such as music, dancing, cinemas and theatres. Any premises or mobile vehicle selling hot food or drink between 23.00 and 05.00 hrs will also require a premises licence.
  • Personal Licence - a licence for individuals allowing them to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on or off the premises.  
  • Temporary Events Notices - a new system of temporary permissions for small scale events involving a notification procedure.
  • Club Premises Certificates - an authorisation for qualifying clubs to carry out qualifying club activities on the clubs' premises.

Representations and Objections:

Local residents and business owners near licensed premises or their representative, have the opportunity under the new Licensing Act to make representations regarding applications for new licences and are able to request reviews of existing licences.

If you would like to discuss any of the above matters or require further information regarding any licensing matter please contact us.            

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