Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 was approved by Parliament in July 2003 and came into force in 2005. The overall aim of the Act is to modernise the legislation governing the sale and supply of alcohol and public entertainment licensing. The Act will do this by transferring liquor licensing powers from the Magistrates’ Courts to Local Authorities, via the creation of ‘Licensing Authorities’. Together with many other significant changes, the current fixed hours of operation when alcohol can be sold are to be removed so that licence applicants can request their own hours of operation.

Licence Applications

During a specified ‘transition period’ (commencing 7th February 2005) all existing licences for premises providing alcohol and/or public entertainment will need to be converted into a premises licence. Those existing licence holders who wish to vary their existing licence terms (e.g. extend their hours of operation), will need to apply to their local Borough Council Licensing Section for both a ‘conversion’ of their existing licence, as well as a ‘variation’ to their licence.

For more information see the Alcohol and Entertainment section of the licensing pages.

Responsible Authorities

A number of specified ‘responsible authorities’ are required to be notified of all licence variations and new applications. These responsible authorities include Trading Standards, the police, environmental health service, child protection service, and the relevant fire & rescue authority. It is the applicants duty to copy their application to all the Responsible Authorities.

The address to send copy applications for variations and new licenses in Cheshire is:

Cheshire East Council
Trading Standards
2nd Floor, Municipal Buildings
Crewe, Cheshire

Making Representations, Comments or Objections

Each responsible authority will be able to make representations regarding licence variations and new applications, as well as being able to request reviews of existing licences. Such representations will be made in relation to one or more of the four ‘licensing objectives’ which are:

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

For further information please view The Department for Culture, Media and Support who provide a wide range of guidance and leaflets relating to representations on the Licensing Act 2003.

The Council supports "Challenge 25".