A premises licence authorises the premises to be used for one or more licensable activity:
- Sale of alcohol by retail
- Supply of alcohol in a members club
- Provision of regulated entertainment
- Provision of late night refreshment
Where the licensable activity is the sale of alcohol by retail a designated premises supervisor must be appointed. There are a number of exemptions to a premises licence and these should be checked before applying to make sure a licence is required.
Who can apply for a premises licence?
Anyone who proposes to carry on a business involving licensable activities on the premises can apply for a premises licence. Please contact us on 01246 231111 for more information.
Children and alcohol
Under the Licensing Act 2003, certain premises are allowed to sell alcohol even if they are open to children. Either because of a Premises Licence, a Club Certificate or a Temporary Event Notice. There are two levels of restriction. One for premises mainly selling alcohol, e.g. pubs and clubs, and another for premises not mainly selling alcohol, such as an hotel lounge with a small bar in the corner.
For premises that are used exclusively or primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises. It is an offence for an under 16 to be on the premises, when they are open for the sale or supply of alcohol, unless they are accompanied by someone over the age of 18.
For premises not used exclusively or primarily for the supply of alcohol, where the alcohol is for consumption on the premises. It is an offence for an under 16 to be on the premises between midnight and 05:00, when they are open for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption there unless they are accompanied by someone over the age of 18.
Provided that they are appropriately accompanied, children of any age are now allowed in all parts of the licensed premises at any time. The proprietor of the premises has the right, though, to exclude any customer, in the same way that any shopkeeper can. There is no restriction on allowing unaccompanied children on premises where there is no consumption on the premises or when the premises are not open for the sale or supply of alcohol.
The sale of alcohol by retail is often the core function of operations in public houses, restaurants, nightclubs and bars. It is also a major part of the turnover of supermarkets, cinemas, theatres etc. A premises licence will be required unless the sale is to another trader who has a premises licence and will be selling to the public under the authority of their own licence.
It is a mandatory condition of any premises licence that includes the sale of alcohol by retail that a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) be appointed. This is the person who is responsible for the day to day running of the premises although they do not have to be on the premises at all times the sale of alcohol is taking place.
The DPS must be the holder of a personal licence and no sale of alcohol may take place if there is not a DPS or if the personal licence of the DPS is suspended.
It is also a mandatory condition that all sales of alcohol must be made or authorised by a personal licence holder. Where the sale of alcohol is to be made by a person who does not hold a personal licence it is strongly suggested that written authorisation to sell be given including the condition that sales to drunks or persons under the age of 18 years are not permitted.
The supply of alcohol to members of a club differs from sale by retail in that it is deemed that the assets of a members club (including alcohol) are owned jointly by the members. When a member or their guest is supplied with alcohol, the money that is exchanged is not actually a sale; it is to allow an equitable replenishment of the jointly owned stock.
As members clubs have a management committee responsible for the day to day running of the club a DPS is not required. Such clubs often have a discipline committee to ensure that members behave in accordance with the club rules.
Regulated entertainment includes:
- The showing of films
- The performance of plays
- The provision of live or recorded music
- The provisions of facilities for making music or dancing
- The provision of boxing or wrestling
- An indoor sporting event
- The provision of anything similar to music or dancing
Provided that this entertainment is in front of a live audience consisting:
- Wholly or partly of members of the public
- Exclusively for members of a club or their guests
- If not for (1) or (2) above where the event is with a view to making a profit whether the event is open to the public or a private event that is intended to make a profit even if the proceeds are donated to a charity. Where any charge is purely top cover the cost of putting on an entertainment (e.g. paying for a band at a wedding) then this is not with a view to a profit.
Late night refreshment is the provision of hot food or hot drink to the public between the hours of 11pm and 5am on any day.
This generally covers fast food outlets, restaurants and public houses that continue to serve their customers or members of the public beyond 11pm. It would include mobile outlets such as burger and kebab vans although a premises licence would be required for each location where the van stopped.
If the operator of a hotel or guest house wishes to provide hot food and drink only to guests at that hotel they are exempt from this provision as are employers providing hot food or drink to their employees free of charge whilst working.
- Live or recorded music if it is incidental to an activity which is not licensed under the Licensing Act 2003. This would include background music in a public house/restaurant or music in a shopping centre or a lift. Such background music would, normally, require a licence from the Performing Rights Society that protects the copyright of music for the authors. What amounts to background music is not stipulated in the Licensing Act 2003 and it is a matter to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally background music should not be the main or a substantial reason for attending the venue and conversation should be able to be conducted without the need for raised voices.
- Live television broadcast simultaneously to the event occurring. Recording an event and playing it back later would require a premises licence, as it would constitute a film. Where live TV is provided by a satellite or cable provider it would still constitute live TV under the Licensing Act 2003 but premises licence holders should be aware that media companies levy a higher charge for commercial premises and mark the transmissions. The use of home media cards in a commercial premises may lead to action by the media providers.
- Films used in advertising, as part of a demonstration, or as part of an exhibition.
- Regulated entertainment constituting part of a religious festival or service or at a place of religious worship are not regarded as regulated entertainment.
- The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities at a garden fete will not be regarded as regulated entertainment unless the event is promoted with a view to applying the whole or part of the proceeds for the purpose of private gain. Alcohol provided as a prize in tombola at a garden fete. Where this occurs the alcohol should be provided in a sealed container and not in an open vessel.
- Morris Dancers or similar.
- Regulated entertainment on vehicles whilst in motion. However if the vehicle stops for more than a temporary stop, e.g. whilst held up in a carnival procession, then a premises licence may be required.