Information about premises licences, and how to apply for one
A premises licence
Your premises will require a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 if you:
- sell alcohol (by retail)
- have regulated entertainment (which may include plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling entertainment, live music, recorded music, performance of dancing)
- sell hot food and drink between 11pm and 5am (known as late night refreshment)
One off events likely to have more than 500 people, too many people for a temporary event notice, will also need to apply for a premises licence.
Who can apply?
You must be aged over 18 years to apply. You must also be in one of the following categories:
- 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 or function under Her Majesty's prerogative
- a person from an educational institute
- any other permitted person
How to apply
We can only process applications if your premises is in our area.
Application forms are specific in their requirements, guidance on how to complete the form is available. This can be found at the bottom of this page.
You can apply:
- online on the GOV.UK website (please follow their instructions to complete the form on your computer, and then upload and submit the form on the GOV.UK site)
- by downloading our premises application form and sending it to us with a cheque (you'll need to send a copy of your completed paper application to all consultees stated on the front of the form)
To apply for a premises licence online you'll need:
- a set of to scale plans for the premises
- if alcohol sales will take place then a you'll need to state a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) on the application, and the DPS will need to provide a consent form (The DPS also needs to hold a personal licence)
- the fee (please see our fee document at the bottom of this page)
Each premises licence we grant (unless it is a community premises with no alcohol sales) will need to pay an annual fee. We'll invoice you annually on the date when the first licence was issued.
After you have put your application in, you'll then need to:
- place a public notice on your premises to allow for 28 days consultation
- place the same public notice in a local newspaper within ten working days of submitting the application
If we issue a premises licence you can expect to receive this one month after your application. The 28 day consultation period allows consultees and members of the public time to consider your application, and raise any concerns under the licensing objectives. Once the period has expired we will issue your licence shortly after. You can find our licensing objectives at the bottom of this page.
A hearing must be held if any representations are made, in respect of the application. If a hearing is held, depending on the results, the licence can:
- be granted
- be granted subject to additional conditions
- have licensable activities listed in the application be excluded
- be rejected
A premises licence lasts for an unlimited time unless the licence is revoked, suspended or surrendered.
There are other applications you can submit for your premises licence.
If you want to make small changes to your licence you can submit a minor variation. Small changes include:
- change to the premises layout or structure
- small adjustments to licensing hours (not including sale of alcohol hours)
- removal or addition of conditions
- to add licensable activities (other than the sale of alcohol)
The fee for a minor variation is £89.00. Minor Variation Guidance should be read prior to submitting your application. This can be found at the bottom of this page.
Application to Transfer
If you want to transfer a licence from the previous licence holder to you or your company name, please complete the transfer application form. Please return to us along with the full licence and summary. You'll also need to obtain a consent form to transfer that has been completed by the previous licence holder. The fee for this application is £23.00.
You can also transfer and vary your licence at the same time:
Application to vary the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)
Please complete this application if you want to change the DPS to someone else (who holds a personal licence). The fee for this application is £23.00. Please return the application with the full licence and summary. Also, the new DPS must complete the DPS consent form. Both forms can be found at the bottom of the page or you can use the following online forms:
- notify us of your request to be removed as DPS
- consent to be DPS
- apply to vary the licence to specify an individual as DPS
Variation for a Premises Licence
Please complete this application if you need to make major changes to the layout of a premises or revise the sale of alcohol activity on the current licence. Even though this application is the same as a brand new application, the advantage is that only the changes will be considered in the consultation process.
Removing the requirement for a Designated Premises Supervisor
For premises such as Churches, Community Centres and similar who hold a premises licence, they can apply to have the requirement for a DPS on the licence removed. The effect is to make a management committee collectively responsible for the sale of alcohol. This can be done anytime within the licence lifetime or at the start of a new application (no additional costs apply if requested at the same time as a new application). The cost for this application is £23.00.
Other relevant applications are:
- interim authority notice application - following the death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder (within 28 days)
- application for a provisional statement - to be used to gain permission for an intended development
- notification of interest - to notify us of an interest if a legal right is held to do so
- notice to be removed as DPS application - for a current DPS to remove responsibility from a licence
- change in a premises licence holder name or address - for changes to the premises licence holder, designated premises supervisor name or address
The following documents provide further information (these can be found at the bottom of this page):
- certificate of service - this provides proof that the responsible authorities have been given a copy of an application where applicable
- certificate of display - this provides proof that an application for a new premises / club certificate or a variation application has been displayed on the premises and newspaper
- example of the public notice - new grant of a premises licence
- example of public notice - full variation of a premises licence
- responsible authorities - a list of our responsible authorities to whom new and variation application need to be sent to