Licence - alcohol and entertainment - premises

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You need a premises licence for the following licensable activities at any premises:

  • sale by retail of alcohol
  • provision of late night refreshment (hot food/drink between 11pm and 5am)
  • provision of regulated entertainment

Premises can include open spaces and temporary structures as well as buildings or parts of buildings.

We encourage all new applicants to contact the licensing team for an informal discussion about proposals before submitting an application. You can also find further information in our guidance.

How to apply


There are some exemptions from the requirement to have a premises licence. These include:

  • trains and airplanes on a journey
  • films in museums
  • religious services
  • garden fetes
  • film exhibitions for the purpose of advertising or education
  • crown premises occupied by armed forces
  • music incidental to other activities
  • live TV and radio broadcasts

Eligibility criteria

Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • anyone who uses or carries on a business in the premises to which the licence 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 or a function under Her Majesty's prerogative
  • a person from an education institute
  • any other permitted person

Applicants must be over the age of 18.

What the law says

Licensing Act 2003 summary

Application process

Applications should be made to the local authority where the premises are situated.

Please send your application with a plan of the premises. This must be in a specific format. Please also send an operating schedule with details such as the times that licensable activities will take place and steps the applicant proposes to take to promote the licensing objectives. A consent from the designated premises supervisor will be required where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity.

Consultation with specified responsible authorities is part of the application process. If you apply online, we will consult the responsible authorities on your behalf.

If you send us your application by post, you will need to copy your application to them.

How long will it take to process my application?

Once the application is validated as complete, responsible authorities and interested parties have a period of 28 days within which they may make representations about the application.

If no representations are received, we aim to process your application within 10 days from the closing date. If representations are received, the licensing authority will hold a hearing to determine the application within 28 days after the closing date.

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused the grant or variation of a premises licence or who wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court with 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about licensed premises

If you experience noise or other disturbances, we advise you to speak to your neighbours and find out if they are having similar problems. After that contact the business itself to make them aware of the problem and see if you can reach a solution or compromise.

If you cannot resolve the problem informally please contact us so we can investigate.

If the problem is ongoing, we would suggest you keep a diary detailing the problems (date, time, what happened). If it is a criminal matter, you should contact the police. If all else fails, you can seek a review of the premises licence. Reviews allow the Licensing Panel to look at the licence and if necessary the Panel can change the licence conditions or, in extreme cases, can suspend or revoke all or part of the licence.

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