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Premises Licence

A premises licence allows a premise to carry out licensable activities.  Almost any business which sells alcohol, provides entertainment or late night refreshment will need a premises licence.  Entertainment includes theatrical performance, showing a film, indoor sporting event, boxing or wrestling (indoor or outdoor), live music, recorded music, dance, facilities for making music and dancing facilities.

A premises license application may also be submitted for one off large scale events which are likely to attract over 500 people and are not covered by a temporary event notice.  If you are selling alcohol at your premises, you will also need at least one person who holds a personal licence. A personal licence holder must be named on the premises licence and is known as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS).


If you would prefer to download and post your application form rather than applying online you can do so by going to the download application forms and guidance page.

When applying for a premises license you will need to pay a fee and the amount you pay will be based on the property’s value.  If the licence is approved an annual fee will then be charged.  Certain premises are exempt from paying fees.

Please contact the Licensing Service for more information.

A premises licence is valid until the licence is revoked, suspended or surrendered. This means it is not time-limited (unless the applicant specifically requests this for example for a music festival).

Any of the following can apply for a premises licence:

  • 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

View the legislation relating to premises licences.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

When applying for a premises licence you must include the correct fee, an operating schedule, a plan of the premises and a form of consent from the premises supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity).

An operating schedule will include details of:

  • the licensable activities
  • the times when the activities will take place
  • any other times when the premises will be open to the public
  • in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence, the period the licence is required for
  • information about the premises supervisor
  • whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other required information

The time it takes depends on each application, it normally ranges from a minimum of one month up to three months, however this could be longer.

Once you submit your application a 28 day consultation period will take place.  This allows time for responsible authorities and/or any other person who feels that the application could undermine one or more of the licensing objectives to make a representation (i.e. in support of / in objection to) the licence application in line with the four licensing objectives:

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

The application must be advertised during the consultation period and a notice will be put on the premises, in the local press and on the details of current applications online page.

If representations are made against an application which cannot be resolved, the application will be heard by the Council's Licensing Act Sub Committee. The hearing must be carried out within 20 working days from the end of the consultation period.

The Licensing Act Sub Committee will consider the application before them and the representations and evidence it hears. The sub committee can decide to grant the licence as applied for, modify the conditions, exclude a licensable activity, refuse to specify a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) on the licence or reject the application.

Tacit authorisation applies to premises licence applications where no objections are received.  This means if you have not heard from the licensing team after 28 days from the date you submitted your application, you can assume the licence is granted as applied for.

If representations are received from responsible authorities and/or any other persons, then you must wait for the council to determine the application before any licensable activities can take place. Please note that the licensing team will always contact you as soon as objections are received.

An appeal process is available to the applicant and those who made representations if they are not happy with the decision of the Licensing Act Sub Committee.  Appeals can be made against new grant, variation and review applications. 

Any appeal must be lodged at the local Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the date the applicant was informed of the sub committee's decision.

If you have a problem with a premise, we recommend you contact the premises directly to try to resolve the dispute. If this is not successful then licensing services may be able to help or you can have a look on the Citizens Advice Bureau ‘Advice Guide’ webpages, or the UK European Consumer Centre  if you live outside the UK.


0300 1234 212