Licensing Act 2003

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Introduction

The Licensing Act 2003 requires:

  • the Licensing Authority (the Licensing department in Cornwall Council) to consult with
  • the Fire Authority (Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service)

on matters relating to public safety (fire safety).

The licensing department is responsible for the administering and issuing of licences. It relies on the consultation process to find out whether the licence is meeting the four objectives:

  1. The prevention of crime and disorder
  2. The prevention of public nuisance
  3. Public safety
  4. The protection of children from harm

The Local Licensing Authority cannot impose any conditions on the licence which would fall under the Fire Safety Order, as this is enforced by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. 

The Licensing Act 2003 is legislation that applies to premises which are used for the:

  • sale or supply of alcohol,
  • providing regulated entertainment,
  • or late night refreshments.

For clarification, licensable activities are:

  • To sell alcohol by retail
  • If you are a qualifying club, to supply alcohol to a club member, or to sell alcohol to a guest of a club member
  • To provide regulated entertainment
  • To sell late night refreshment - selling hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am for consumption on or off the premises. This includes take-away's and mobile caterers. Unless you are a hotel, staff canteen or campsite

Assessing a licence application

When assessing an application a Fire Safety Officer from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service will review all the information provided in the application to assess:

  • If the fire precautions are suitable and sufficient
  • and make an initial assessment of the maximum number of persons permitted in the premises at any one time (maximum occupancy).

The maximum occupancy will be based on the plan and information provided. Taking into account the number and size of:

  • exits
  • escape routes,
  • the floor area available,
  • and the use to which the licensed premises is used.

If additional information is required, the Fire Safety Officer may contact or visit the site and carry out a fire safety audit.  If we need to carry out a fire safety audit we aim to complete the audit within 28 days. This is the statutory consultation period provided for Licence applications.

The Fire Safety Officer will contact the applicant if the calculated occupancy is different from the figure provided. A site visit will then be carried out.  If this does not resolve the situation then it will be passed on to licensing.  If licensing cannot resolve the situation you should make a representation supporting your application.

If a representation is made the Council may have to hold a hearing allowing any responsible authority or individual to make a representation in support or objection to the licence application.

Existing licensed premises

Some licensed premises are audited as part of our risk based inspection program (this is based on risk and also current trends). We may recommend a licence review.

Auditing a licensed premises

When we carry out an audit on licensed premises, we look closely at the following:

  • Available floor space and its use e.g. dining area, dance floor (this used to calculate the maximum occupancy)
  • Fire risk assessment (record of the significant findings)
  • Means of detecting fire and raising the alarm
  • Means of escape
  • Maximum occupancy
  • Emergency procedures and notices
  • Emergency lighting and signage
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • Staff training
  • Housekeeping
  • Testing and maintenance records
  • Arson reduction measures
  • Gas and electrical safety
  • Kitchen safety

How to calculate your maximum occupancy

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have developed a basic guide for premises that fall under the Licensing Act 2003. 

The Licensing Act 2003 is legislation that applies to premises which are used for the sale or supply of:

  • alcohol,
  • providing regulated entertainment,
  • or late night refreshments.

For clarification, licensable activities are:

  • To sell alcohol by retail
  • If you are a qualifying club, to supply alcohol to a club member, or to sell alcohol to a guest of a club member
  • To provide regulated entertainment
  • To sell late night refreshment - selling hot food or drink between 11.00pm and 5.00am for consumption on or off the premises (including take-away and mobile caterers), unless you are a hotel, staff canteen or campsite

The identification of maximum occupancy levels appropriate for licensed premises including specific area limits within the premises, should be identified within your Fire Risk Assessment.

This guide provides information, advice and a step by step process on how to calculate your occupancy figures for your premises.

Download the Calculating Occupancy booklet

Fire Risk Assessment

The Fire Safety Order specifies that the 'Responsible Person' must make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. This must be of the risk to 'Relevant Persons' from fire.

The Fire Risk Assessment must identify groups of people especially at risk and detail the significant findings.  It should include the measures which have been or will be taken to comply with The Order.

This information must be recorded where:

  • Five or more persons are employed
  • A licence under an enactment is in force in relation to the premises
  • An alterations notice requiring this is in force in relation to the premises

We have produced a number of fire risk assessment templates which can be downloaded from our Risk Assessment Template page.

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