Licensing Act 2003 and related legislation

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Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing

What the Act does

AlcoholSt 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

•   provide late night refreshment

Licensing Act 2003 - Statement of Licensing Policy

LegalThe 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.  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:

Mandatory Conditions

The Licensing Act 2003 imposes certain mandatory conditions on premises licences and club premises certificates. Until 6 April 2010 these were all shown on the face of each individual licence or certificate.
On 6 April 2010 revised legislation came into operation, which had the effect of imposing additional mandatory conditions on existing premises licences and club premises certificates that authorise the sale or supply of alcohol. There is no specific requirement for licensing authorities to add these to existing licences.
A further amendment came into force on 28  May 2014, in relation to the minimum price of a unit of alcohol.
Please note that the mandatory conditions are enforceable even if they do not appear on an individual premises licence or certificate.
St Albans City & District Council intends to add the new mandatory conditions to existing licences and certificates where appropriate, when they are returned to the Licensing section for other reasons (such as a variation of the licence, a change of designated premises supervisor, a transfer to a new operator, etc).
Most premises licences and club certificates will also have additional conditions that are specific to that particular premises. These have either been proposed by the licence holder at the time of an application or were imposed by the Licensing Authority following a formal hearing.

Please find below a list of the current mandatory conditions and the Home Office Guidance

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, or by e-mail.

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:

Regulatory Services Manager
St Albans City and District Council
St Peters Street
St Albans
Herts AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819406 (Environmental) Tel: 01727 819541 (Licensing) Fax: 01727 819433


Licensing Officer
Hertfordshire Constabulary
County Police Station
Victoria Street
St Albans
Herts AL1 3JL
Tel:  01727 796007

Local Safeguarding Children's Board
Room 127 County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford Herts SG13 8DE
Tel: 01992 588757/Fax: 01992 555719 

Fire Protection Manager
Fire Protection
Mundells MU103
Welwyn Garden City
Tel: 01707 292310

Chief Trading Standards Officer
Hertfordshire Trading Standards
Welwyn Garden City
Herts AL7 1FT
Tel: 01707 292429

Planning Enforcement Officer
St Albans City and District Council
St Peters Street
St Albans
Herts AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 866100 ext 2346

Public Health
postal point SFAR 232
Hertfordshire County Council
Farnham House
Six Hills Way
Stevenage SG1 2ST



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

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.

Full variation/Grant
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.
Minor variation
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?

ObjectorsMinor Variations
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.

Full Variations/Grants
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. 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.

Solicitor and ApplicantAppeals
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.

Please note that we will remove your personal data from any representations submitted.  This means we will remove your name, email, telephone numbers, and the number or name of your individual property.  We will not remove the street name, location and post code. 
If you make comments in the body of your representation that may identify your individual property, we consider that you have done this intending that information to form part of your representation and this information will not be removed from your representation.

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.


Entertainment Exemptions under the Licensing Act from 6th April 2015

DJ'Live Music'
Live amplified music in on-licensed premises authorised and open for the sale of alcohol does not require a licence for audiences up to 500 (a 300 increase) until 11:00pm. This includes beer gardens and terraces if they are included in the licensed premises. Live-music related conditions do not apply unless they are re-imposed at a Review. If a beer garden is not shown on the licensed plans then it is likely to nevertheless be a workplace which benefits from a similar exemption. Karaoke is considered live music. Live unamplified music does not need a licence anywhere and with no audience limit between 08:00 to 23:00.
Entertainment Facilities
Entertainment facilities (stages, karaoke machines, microphone stands, even electrical sockets) have not been licensable since October 2012. You may still see these 'authorised' on your licence if it has not been amended but they are no longer relevant to licensing.
Recorded Music
Recorded music in on-licensed premises benefits from the same exemption as live music above, with the same audience limit. This covers DJs and discos and is a new development, as hitherto most recorded music above background level has been licensable under the Act. There is no equivalent "workplace" exemption. Background live and recorded music continues to be exempt.
Performance of Plays, Indoor Sporting Events and Performances of Dance
'Plays' could include Noddy at a holiday camp but also a themed "ghost story-reading night" with paid actors at a pub. 'Performances of Dance' includes any non-customer dancing that is intended to entertain an audience. Since June 2013, for audiences up to 500 (and in the case of indoor sporting events, up to 1,000) from 8am until 11:00pm none of these activities require authorisation under the Licensing Act. Lap-dancing and other forms of sexual entertainment on up to 11 occasions a year remain regulated under the 2003 Act (any more will usually require a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence)
The showing of pre-recorded films which are incidental to some other activity (for example, drinking, eating or playing pool) is not licensable.

Boxing & Wrestling
This activity remains regulated under the Act (and now explicitly includes mixed martial arts) apart from Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.

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.

Contact Details

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:

External Links

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

Date of last review: 13 April 2015