Licensing Act 2003 FAQs

What are the aims of the new licensing regime?

The four licensing objectives that local authorities are under a duty to promote are:-
1. The prevention of crime and disorder
2. Public safety
3. The protection of children from harm
4. The prevention of public nuisance

What are licensable activities?

According to Clause 1(1), and Schedules 1 and 2 of the Bill
The sale of alcohol by retail
The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club
The provision of regulated entertainment
The provision of late night refreshment

What is Regulated Entertainment?

Subject to qualifying conditions, and exemptions, the definitions contained in Schedule 1, state that it is:
A performance of a play
An exhibition of a film
An indoor sporting event
A boxing or wrestling entertainment (indoors or outdoors)
A performance of live music
Any playing of recorded music ( not incidental i.e background music)
A performance of a dance
Entertainment of similar description to that falling within the performance of live music, the playing of recorded music and the performance of dance

Does the Bill cover entertainment outdoors?

Yes, the definition of 'premises' given in clause 188 states that it means 'any place and includes a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure'. Unlike the current system, outdoor entertainment (or any other licensable activity) can take place on either private or public land and still require a licence.

What is late night refreshment?

Late night refreshment, and the exemptions, are defined in Schedule 2 of the Bill. It is worth remembering that because the definition of premises includes vehicles, a burger van which has regular pitches and trades after 11:00pm will require a premises licence for each of these.

The Bill received royal assent on the 10th July 2003. Secondary legislation that will determine more detailed parts of the bill such as fees, information required by applicants etc will be announced in November/December 2004

How often does a licensing policy need to be published?

It will need to be reviewed every 5 years. The first must be published before the local authority can carry out any function in respect of individual applications made under the terms of the new Act. Further details are contained in Clause 5 of Bill and Section 4 of the Draft Guidance. LACORS is proposing to issue a framework or guidance document to assist local authorities in writing and consulting on their Licensing Policies.

What is a personal licence?

This is a portable licence granted by the local (licensing) authority of residence to an individual enabling the right to sell alcohol at any premise licensed for the sale of alcohol.

How long is it valid?

A personal licence is now valid for an indefinite period and no longer needs to be renewed, however it is the responsibility of the personal licence holder to ensure that the details such as name and address are kept up to date and that the photo still bears a resemblance.

Persons who currently hold a personal licence that has an expiry date can find more information in the Licensing Act 2003 section.

Are there any qualification requirements for personal licences?

Yes, there will be a requirement for new personal licence holders to take a qualification approved by the Secretary of State. LACORS/LGA has a representative attending the DCMS working group set up to examine the structure and content for the new personal licence holders qualification.

What is the fee for a personal licence?

The fee for a personal licence is £37.00.

What is an Operating Schedule?

The operating schedule is a mandatory requirement of a new Premises Licence application( it is not expected this will be required where existing premises are claiming grandfather rights). It must be submitted with the application, and include details such as descriptive information about the premises, a statement of the proposed relevant licensable activities, details of any risks associated with the location, size, opening hours, controls on capacity, soundproofing, door supervisors etc. Further information can be found in Clause 17 of the Bill and paragraphs 6.22 - 6.25 of the draft Guidance. The Secretary of State may prescribe, by statutory instrument, other matters that must be included in an operating schedule.

Are Places of Worship affected by the Bill?

The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities are exempt if - For the purpose of, or for purposes incidental to, a religious meeting or service or At a place of public religious worship. Local Authorities are awaiting a definition of 'places of worship' there is debate as to whether this will cover church halls!! South Cambs at this stage is adopting the view that Church Halls will not be exempt.

Are there any other exemptions?

Yes: moving vehicles on the public Highway, live television/radio broadcasts and spontaneous music and singing. For further details see Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Bill.

What is a temporary event notice?

A license enabling the temporary sale of alcohol or the provision of regulated entertainment or late night refreshment at premises not authorised by premises licence or club premises certificate.

What are the limitations on temporary event notices?

A personal licence holder can only apply 50 times in a year and only 5 times for all other people. Only 12 temporary event notices can be given in respect to a particular premise in one calendar year. The temporary event cannot exceed 168 hours and a maximum of 499 people can be in attendance at any one time.

Where can I find further information about the Bill?

Via the LGA's website or the DCMS website.

How do I make a representation against or for an application?

Please refer to the Representation Guidance Notes for further information.

Contact Details

03450 450 500