Last updated: 12/03/2013
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Premises selling alcohol, providing regulated entertainment
and/or providing late night refreshment will need to be licensed
under the Licensing Act 2003. Premises licences are issued by
Cornwall Council as the local licensing authority.
What is a premises licence for?
A premises licence authorises the premises in question to carry
out licensable activities. Almost any business that does one or
more of these activities (i.e. sell alcohol, provide entertainment
or provide late night refreshment) will need a premises licence. A
premises licence application may also be submitted for one off
large scale events, for example when an event is likely to attract
over 500 people which is outside of the limits set for serving a
temporary event notice.
Where the sale of alcohol is one of the activities you carry out
at your premises, you will also need at least one personal licence
holder. A personal licence holder must be named on the premises
licence as the responsible person and is known as the Designated
Premises Supervisor (DPS).
Conditions and criteria
Any of the following can apply for a premises licence:
- anyone who uses 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
- the proprietor of an educational institute
- any other permitted person as set out in regulation
the legislation relating to premises licences.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
What is regulated entertainment?
Regulated entertainment is entertainment provided in the
presence of an audience, for the purpose of entertaining that
Entertainment activities include
- The performance of a play
- The exhibition of a film
- An indoor sporting event
- Boxing or wrestling
- A performance of live music
- Any playing of recorded music
- Performance of dance
- Entertainment of a similar description (such as a karaoke)
It also includes the provision of entertainment facilities, that
is facilities used for:
- Making music (for example a piano)
- Dancing (for example a dance floor)
- Entertainment of a similar description (karaoke machine)
How long is a premises licence valid?
A premises licence has effect 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
How much does a premises licence cost?
An application fee is payable on submission and if the licence
is granted an annual fee is charged. Fees are based on the rateable
value of the premises to be licensed. Certain premises are
exempt from paying fees.
Please contact the Licensing Service for more information.
Applications must be made to Cornwall Council as the local
licensing authority where the premises are situated.
New grant applications must be in a specific format and be
accompanied by any required 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
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
- in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence,
the period the licence is required for
- information in respect of the premises supervisor
- whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or
of the premises or both
- the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing
- any other required information
Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence and
vary the licence to specify a new DPS. If representations are
received in respect of these applications, the council may have to
hold a hearing to determine them. Other applications that can be
made are applications for an interim authority notice following the
death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder or review
How long does it take to get a premises licence?
The time taken depends on each individual application, however
the time period normally ranges from a minimum of one month up to
three months, however this could be longer.
When an application is submitted, a 28 day statutory
consultation period will follow. This allows time for
responsible authorities and any individual, body or business
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
- 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 by way of a notice on the premises and a notice to be
published in the local press. We also publish details of
current applications online.
If representations are made against an application which cannot
be resolved through mediation, then 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
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 from the scope of the
licence, refuse to specify a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)
on the licence or reject the application.
Tacit authorisation applies to premises licence applications
only where no objections are received. This means if you have
not heard from licensing services after 28 days from submission of
the application, you can assume the licence is granted as applied
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 licensing services will
always contact you as soon as objections are received.
What means of redress are available?
An appeal process is available to the
applicant and those who made representation to an application, if
they are not satisfied with the decision of the Licensing Act Sub
The licensing authority issues a notice of decision to the
applicant and anyone who made relevant representations (ie
representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious).
Appeals can be made against new grant, variation and review
Any appeal must be lodged at the local Magistrates' Court within
21 days of the date the applicant was informed of the sub
If you have a problem with a premises, 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 have a
look on the Citizens Advice Bureau
‘Advice Guide’ webpages, or the UK European Consumer Centre if
you live outside the UK.
You can obtain paper application forms from licensing services
or follow this link to download application forms and guidance
for submission by post.