Liquor licences

The Licensing Act 2003 affects anyone concerned with:

  • Pubs and nightclubs
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Off-licences
  • Restaurants that serve alcohol
  • Businesses offering hot food between 11 pm and 5 am (with certain exceptions)
  • Hotels, guest houses and other places that sell alcohol
  • Private member's clubs and social groups
  • Theatres and amateur dramatic groups
  • Cinemas
  • Organisers of occasional entertainments

Under the act:

  • A premises licence is required for any of the above
  • Takeaways offering hot food between 11 pm and 5 am require a premises licence to provide late night refreshment
  • A personal licence is required by anyone who wants to allow the sale of alcohol as part of his or her business
  • A club premises certificate is required for 'qualifying' clubs
  • Temporary event notices replaced occasional licences and occasional permissions for "short term" events
  • Licensees, the council and other agencies must all work to promote the four licensing objectives
  • "Interested parties" and/or "responsible authorities" will be able to call for reviews on premises causing problems
  • We are required to produce a licensing policy
  • We are required to keep a licensing register

The Live Music Act 2012 (LMA) provides that any amplified live music played on the premises that are licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises is not a licensable activity when the live music is played between the hours of 8am and 11pm, provided the premises are open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises and when the audience is less than 200.

In terms of unamplified music, this is no longer a licensable activity between the hours of 8am and 11pm, no matter what the audience is and no matter where it is played (or sung). The other significant amendment introduced by the LMA is that the facilities for making music and the facilities for dancing are no longer licensable activities, whatever time and wherever they are provided.

Licensing objectives

Local authorities, the Police and licensees are required to promote four licensing objectives:

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

Summary of 2003 Licensing Act

  • flexible opening hours for licensed premises, with the potential for up to 24 hour opening, seven days a week, subject to consideration of the impact on local residents. This will help to minimise public disorder resulting from fixed closing times
  • a single scheme for licensing premises which sell alcohol, provide public entertainment or provide refreshment late at night
  • a system of personal licences which allow holders to sell or serve alcohol for consumption on or off any premises possessing a premises licence
    personal and premises licences to be issued by local authorities

Responsible authorities, including the police, fire authority, trading standards, health and safety and environmental health are notified of every application for a new premises licence, or variation of existing licences, and have the opportunity to make representations to the council about the effect of the application on the promotion of the four licensing objectives.

The Act also enables residents and businesses in the vicinity of the premises (interested parties) to make relevant representations about any application for a new licence or variations to a licence.

This includes the right to raise objections and gives the local community a greater say than ever before in licensing decisions.

Who can make a representation?

Although anyone can make a representation, it is likely to carry more weight if you live or run a business in the vicinity of the premises concerned.

How do you know when a licence application is made?

You can view an online register of applications received on this website.

Applicants are obliged to advertise licence applications by:

  • displaying a pale blue coloured A4 sized notice outside the premises for 28 days from the day after the application is given to the Council
  • placing a public notice once in a local newspaper which circulates in the vicinity of the premises within 10 days from the day after the application is given to the Council
  • You can also view copies of application forms at our Ripley offices, Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9:00am - 4:30, Wed 10:00am - 4:30pm

Reviews of premises already holding a licence

Interested parties and responsible authorities can also apply in writing for a formal review of an existing licence at any time, where licensable activities held at the premises are causing problems to the neighbourhood.

The council will advertise the review application for 28 days by displaying an pale blue, A4 notice at, on or near the site of the licensed premises where it can be conveniently read outside. It will also be advertised at council offices and on this website.

Representations can be made about the review in the same way as those about licence applications.

What are relevant representations?

For a representation to be relevant it must be one that is about the likely effect of the application on the promotion of the licensing objectives, or if a review, the impact of the premises licence on the objectives.

See the link under Related Pages for more information about the four licensing objectives and the council's Licensing Policy(Licensing Statemment).

A representation made by an interested party will not be relevant if the council considers it to be vexatious, frivolous or repetitious

Representations must be received within 28 days from the day after the date the licence was applied for, as specified in the newspaper and site notice advertisements placed by the licence applicant (or in the case of a review, the notices placed by the council).

Representations received after that time cannot be considered.

In the case of a review of a premises licence following a closure order by a magistrates court, an interested party or a responsible authority has a period of 7 days from when the licensing authority receives the order, in which to make representations about the review.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841604 or email