Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing
What the Act does
St Albans City and District Council licenses the premises in the district which:
• sell alcohol for consumption on and/or off the premises
• supply alcohol to members of a club
• provide regulated entertainment: plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing and/or wrestling entertainment, live or recorded music, performances of dance, facilities for making music and/or dancing
• provide late night refreshment
Licensing Act 2003 - Statement of Licensing Policy
The Licensing Act 2003 requires each licensing authority to produce and publish a policy with regard to how it will carry out its functions under the Act. St Albans City and District Council acts as the licensing authority for the District.
The Council’s Licensing Policy explains how the Council, acting as the Licensing Authority, intends to promote the Licensing Objectives in the District. The Council must act in a way that promotes the Licensing Objectives. These are:
• Prevention of Public Nuisance
• Prevention of Crime and Disorder
• Public Safety
• Protecting Children from Harm,
The purpose of the policy is:
• to inform applicants of the way in which the Licensing Authority will make licensing decisions and how licensed premises are likely to be permitted to operate;
• to inform residents and businesses of the way in which the Licensing Authority will make licensing decisions and how their needs and concerns will be dealt with.
It is important to be aware that the licensing policy only becomes relevant to the consideration of an application if the Licensing Authority receives representations from objectors or responsible authorities. Where no representations are received, applications are only subject to the provisions of the Act and statutory guidance, and have to be granted in the terms sought by the applicant, with the imposition of relevant mandatory conditions and conditions set out in the operating schedule.
The Statement of Licensing Policy was adopted by Council on 29 November 2007 with effect from 7 January 2008. This policy has now been reviewed and re-published on 7 January 2011. It must be reviewed every five years.
Child protection statement
One of the licensing objectives under the Act is "the protection of children from harm". The document below indicates what might be considered with regard to this objective when applying for a licence:
Applying for a licence
Copies of all of the relevant application forms for Premises Licences.
Information on Temporary Event Notices
Applications may be submitted in person, by post, by fax, by e-mail, or you can apply online
The application must be legible and be capable of being read and reproduced in written form. However, an application cannot be accepted as a valid application until all forms, plans and fees have been received and are valid.
The original application and fee must be sent to the Licensing Authority. Copies of the application for the grant/variation of a premises licence or club premises certificate should be sent to the following responsible authorities unless the application is made electronically when only the Licensing Authority must be served:
Notification of applications
The original application and fee must be sent to the Licensing Authority (see contact details below). Copies of application for the grant/variation of a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate should be sent to the following Responsible Authorities:
Applications for the grant/variation of a premises licence/club premises certificate must be advertised in a local publication which is distributed in the vicinity of the premises and on the boundary of the premises. The below document gives you suggested wording for this advert.
We will also place a notice on our website outlining the application http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/business/BusinessLicences/licensing-act-2003/premises-licence.aspx
Making a representation regarding an application
Any one can make a representation regarding an application for a grant. Full variation or minor variation of a premises licence or club premises certificate.
The representation must be based on one of the four licensing objectives and relate to the premises to be relevant. The Licensing Objectives are as follows:
• The prevention of crime and disorder
• Public safety
• The prevention of public nuisance
• The protection of children from harm
It is an offence knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement in connection with an application. The maximum fine for which a person is liable on summary conviction for the offence if £5,000.
The representation can be submitted to the Licensing Authority (contact details below). If you wish, you may use the document below to make a representation.
When applying for a ‘full variation’ or ‘grant’ an applicant must place a blue notice on their premises with details of the application so that it can be easily seen from the outside for 28 consecutive days. They must also advertise their application in a local newspaper or similar publication.
These representations must be submitted in writing during the 28 day consultation period which is indicated on the public notices displayed at the premises, published in a local newspaper and on our website.
A minor variation can be applied for when a licence holder wishes to make a small variation to their licence which should not impact adversely upon the licensing objectives. The application has to be advertised in case others think that the changes could have an impact on the licensing objectives.
These applications can be used when a licence holder wishes to make small changes to the layout of a premises, to add, remove or change the conditions of their existing licence, or to add, remove or change their existing licensable activities. Minor variations can not be used to increase the size of a licensed area, or to add or extend the sale of alcohol to an existing licence.
When applying for a minor variation applicants have to place a white notice on their premises with details of the application where it can be easily seen from the outside for 10 consecutive working days. They do not have to advertise this application in a local newspaper or similar publication.
Any representations must be submitted in writing during the 10 day consultation period which is indicated on the public notices displayed at the premises, published in a local newspaper and on our website.
The Council also publishes regular details of recent licensing applications on our website.
What will happen to my representation?
Where comments are received about a minor variation, the Licensing Officers will determine if the application could impact on any of the four licensing objectives. Any relevant comments which are received will be considered when making this determination.
The application will be granted unless it is deemed that the application will have a negative impact on the licensing objectives, in which case the application will be refused.
The applicant and any person who made comments against the application will be notified of the decision.
There is no right of appeal against this determination.
If an application is refused, the premises are able to apply through the full variation process. If this happens, the application is to be treated as a fresh application, with a 28 day consultation period. Previous comments cannot be considered, and must be submitted again to be considered.
Where comments are received about a new licence (grant) or a full variation, the Hearings Officer will arrange a hearing with a Licensing Sub-Committee to determine the application.
In the interests of fairness, your name and address will be disclosed to the applicant and will be included or summarised in the report to the Licensing Sub-Committee. You must specifically tell us if you do not wish your name and address to appear in the report to the Licensing Sub-Committee and the reasons why.
You will be sent a form about the Licensing Sub-Committee hearing. This must be returned no later than five working days before the hearing if you want to speak at the meeting.
Sub Committee hearings
At the hearing, all parties will have the opportunity of putting their case to the Sub-Committee. They can also ask each other questions. Only those parties who have made valid objections will be able to speak at any subsequent Licensing Sub-Committee hearing. If you wish to be represented, you must notify the licensing team of who will be representing you. Any representative can only provide the concerns of the person they are representing, and can not add their own concerns. Please note that if you make a representation/objection under the Licensing Act 2003 we will pass your details to the applicant.
What will the Sub-Committee decide?
The Sub-Committee will make its decision based on the Licensing Act, the four licensing objectives, the statutory guidance (s182 Licensing Act 2003), and its own statement of licensing policy http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/Final%20Policy%202011%20_tcm15-25701.pdf. The Sub-Committee can:
• grant the application as applied for;
• grant the licence subject to certain conditions or with reduced hours
• grant the licence excluding certain activities,
• reject the application
The decision will normally be announced at the end of the hearing, and there is normally a right of appeal against the Sub-Committee’s decision. There is no right of appeal if your objections are not considered relevant.
Please note that it is not acceptable to lobby a Councillor who is a member of the Licensing Committee.
You will be advised in writing of the Sub-Committee’s decision within ten days of the hearing. As a party to the hearing, you will then have 21 days in which to appeal to the Magistrates’ Court if you disagree with the Licensing Committee’s decision. The applicant also has the right to appeal against the Committee’s decision. In that case, the Licensing Committee may need to ask you to give evidence at the magistrates’ court appeal on their behalf.
There is no right of appeal against a decision for a minor variation.
Reporting Problems from Licensed Premises
If you are experiencing a problem with a licensed premises then please contact the Licensing Authority. We have out of hours compliance officers working at the weekend so it is always worth calling our Licensing Hotline: 0777 0701 720. If you cannot talk to an officer immediately you can leave a message on the voicemail and this will be dealt with as soon as possible.
Noise complaints from licensed premises can also be dealt with by the out of hours compliance officers. Call the 24 hour call centre on: 01727 811155. The call centre will contact the out of hour’s compliance officers who will determine what action may be taken. The out of hours compliance officers are specialist officers for Licensing and Environmental Health. They are on duty: Friday 18.00-03.00 & Saturday 18.00-03.00. During office hours please call: 01727 818406.
Live Music Act 2012
The Live Music Act 2012 came into force on 1st October 2012.
The changes mean that you do not need permission under the Licensing Act 2003 for live music in certain circumstances (e.g. you do not need a premises licence, club premises certificate, or temporary event notice):
• You can now hold an event with unamplified live music between 8am and 11pm in any venue.
• You can also hold an event with amplified live music between 8am and 11pm where the audiences number no more than 200 people and the event is on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, or in a workplace.
The definition of workplace includes a beer garden or outside area.
The section 182 Guidance will be amended to reflect these changes and this will come into force on 31st October 2012. You can see the proposed new chapter 15 here
Conditions imposed on Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates
Any licence conditions on premises licences or club premises certificates relating to live music will not apply between 8am and 11pm. This does not affect conditions that relate to any other aspect of you licence. If you are unsure which conditions relate solely to live music please speak to Regulatory Services, on 01727 819406.
You should still take care not to make noise that disturbs your neighbours because you must operate your business in a way that promotes the licensing objectives including prevention of public nuisance.
Please remember if your event causes public nuisance, anyone can apply to review the premises under the Licensing Act 2003. At a review hearing the Licensing Authority can impose conditions that will apply during live music events.
In offering this advice St Albans City and District Council wishes to make it clear that:
• Legislation may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the time the guidance was produced. It is not necessarily comprehensive and is subject to revision in the light of further information.
• Only the courts may interpret statutory legislation with any authority.
• This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to, nor a substitute for, the relevant law. Independent legal advice should be sought where appropriate.
Licensing Authority, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans, Herts AL1 3JE. Tel: 01727 819541. Fax: 01727 819433. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of last review: 08 August 2012
St Albans City & Council is not responsible for the content of external websites
• Home Office
The website of the Home Office, the government department responsible for alcohol licensing