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Alcohol & Licensing

Any individuals or businesses who want to supply alcohol, run temporary events or carry out certain other licensable activities, such as playing music or serving hot food, must have been granted a licence to do so in advance.

These notices are primarily required by The Licencing Act 2003. The alcohol licence requirements apply whether applicants are operating a pub, takeaway or shop or simply want to provide alcohol at a village hall.

Other venues and events which may want to sell alcohol include cinemas and theatres and festivals.

Organisers of events must often also apply for Temporary Event Notices - which you may see referred to as TENs - whether or not they are selling alcohol.

Examples of these events could include providing entertainment such as music, dancing or indoor sporting events or serving hot food between 11pm and 5am.

A temporary licence can only be used if the event in question has a capacity of 500 or below and does not run for more than seven days.

Anybody applying for an alcohol licence or TEN must advertise their intention to do so in order for people or organisations to make their views known.

You will also need a TEN if you want to conduct an event that is not already included in an existing licence. An example of this would be a community hall wanting to hold a wedding reception.

Comments are examined by the relevant authority - usually the local council. However, they will only be actioned if they address specific issues. These are:

  • Preventing crime and disorder

  • Public safety

  • Prevention of public nuisance

  • Protecting children from harm

The authority may decide to grant the application, reject it, approve parts of it or refuse to allow a named individual to be included on the licence.

Details of how to object or support an application, and the timescales for doing so, will be included in the notice.

For a full list of alcohol and licensing legislation, you can visit legislation.gov.uk.

You can look for licence applications near you using the simple Public Notice Portal map and search facilities.

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