To provide late-night refreshments, regulated entertainment and/or sell alcohol you need a licence. If your premises sells alcohol you are also required to have a Designated Premises Supervisor who must hold a Personal Licence.
If you do not correctly complete the advertisement requirements specified within the Licensing Act 2003 for the application then the application process must re-start, including a further payment of the application fee.
Apply for a premises licence
You can apply for premises licence online via the Gov.UK applications portal. A PDF version of our application form is available on the applications portal. Alternatively, if you are having difficulties using the PDF form then a word version is available to download on the Gov.UK premises licence forms page.
How to review a premises license
If a premises is causing you issues and the operation of the premises is undermining the licensing objectives you can ask that the Council reviews the licence. A review can result in revocation, suspension or changes to the licence.
Variations to existing licences
Full Variation to a premises licence
The full variation process is very similar to the application process for a new premises licence and the fee is the same. You should use this process if you want to make a substantial change to your licence, for example, increasing the hours when you sell alcohol.
Minor variation to a premises license
If you want to make a small, low-risk change to your premises licence, you may be able to use the minor variation process. This is cheaper and quicker than the full variation application.
Small changes could include:
- removing a licensable activity
- reducing the hours you sell alcohol
- making small changes to the layout of your premises
If you apply for a minor variation and your application is rejected, you will not be able to appeal. However, you can reapply using the full variation process.
Change the designated premises supervisor
The application to vary a premises licence to specify an individual as designated premises supervisor under the Licensing Act 2003 asks the licensee to give a copy of the form to the existing premises supervisor. It is sufficient for the licensee to inform the DPS that the application has been made, without the need to share the application. A full copy of the application form must still be sent to police.
Transfer of premises licence
If you wish to change the premises licence holder named on a licence you will need to submit a transfer application.
View the current schedule of fees for the Licensing Act
Application evaluation process
Applications should include 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 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 objectives
- any other required information
Applicants may be required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to any other person or responsible body, eg the local authority, chief police officer or fire and rescue authority.
The licensing authority must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing will be held if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held the licence can be granted or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded or the application can be rejected.
The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations and the chief of police.
Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence. A hearing may have to be heard if representations are made or conditions relating to a transfer are not met.
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 applications.
A Designated Premises Supervisor must hold a Personal Licence and is the person specified on the Premises Licence who is responsible for authorising the sale or supply of alcohol.
Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:
- anyone who uses carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates
- a recognised club, charity, or 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
Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.
Right of appeal
If an application for a licence is refused the failed applicant can appeal. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
The chief police officer can apply to the licensing authority for a review of the licence if
- they are of the opinion that the premises are associated with either serious crime or disorder or both or
- if they believe that the transfer of a licence to another, under a variation application could undermine crime prevention objectives.
Any person or responsible body may make representations in relation to a licence application or request the licensing body to review a licence. They may also appeal against the granting of a licence or against any condition, variation, licensable activity or premises supervisor decisions.
Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
We are working towards providing the Public Register that holds all information on licences and certificates online. You can view the Public Registers at our licensing offices in Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe.
Page last reviewed: 25 October 2021
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