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Alcohol and Entertainment Licences

Licensing Act 2003

Under the Licensing Act 2003, any premises or place where licensable activities will take place will need to be covered by a licence or notice. Licence holders will be responsible for the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Alcohol and Entertainment Toggle accordion

The Licensing Act 2003 aims to promote four key objectives to enable more freedom for business operators and customers; while clamping down on crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

The four key objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

The objectives are met mainly through the introduction of the following types of licence, a premises licence, club premises certificate, and a personal licence. St Albans Council issues these licences. In addition there are temporary event notices for premises without a licence who wish to hold small events.

Licensing Policy

This highlights the duties we have under the Licensing Act 2003 and is reviewed every three years.

You will need to apply for a licence if you wish to:

  • Sell or supply alcohol
  • Provide regulated entertainment
  • Sell hot food and drink after 11pm
Temporary event notice
Temporary Event Notice (TEN) - if you are running an occasional event that includes any of the above you will need a temporary event notice
Please read before applying
TEN Factsheet
Application form
Apply for a TEN
Apply online
Temporary Event Notice


Personal licence
Personal Licence - if you wish to be a designated premises supervisor you will need a personal licence
Please read before applying
Personal Licence Information
Application forms
Personal Licence Application
Disclosure of Convictions
Personal Licence Change of Name or Address
Copy of a Personal Licence

The fee for a personal licence is £37.

Please note that from 1 April 2015 it is no longer necessary to renew a personal licence. Section 115 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been amended by section 69 of the Deregulation Act 2015, removing the requirement to renew personal licences.

Premises licence
Premises licence - if you wish to carry out any of the above on a permanent basis, such as a business you need a premises licence
Please read before applying
Premises Licence Guidance
Privacy Notice
Application forms
Premises Licence Application Form
Application to Vary Premises Licence
Application to Transfer Premises Licence
Copy of Premises Licence

Premises Licence

If you wish to carry out any of the above on a permanent basis, such as a business you will need a premises licence

Apply online

All applications should be sent to 


Licensing Policy
Premises Licence Application Form ( PDF - 392.27 KB )
 Application to Vary Premises Licence ( PDF - 384.54 KB )

Making Representations Toggle accordion

Representations should be made in writing to the licensing authority where the premises are situated. St Albans Council will also accept representations by email to The interested party must ensure they include their name, address and contact details, if making a representation by email.

Please be aware that the Licensing Act 2003 requires all parties that wish to make a representation against an application ensure that their name and addresses are included in the letter of representation to make it valid.

All representations must be about the likely effect of granting the licence or certificate on the promotion of at least one of the four licensing objectives. It would be wise, therefore, to explicitly link any representation to one or more of the objectives which are listed below:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

Objectors’ personal information (e.g. names, addresses and contact details) will be shared, as per the regulations, with the applicant. All letters/emails will be put out into the public domain and be viewed on our website. Personal data (e.g. names, addresses and contact details) of objectors will be redacted before copies are placed on the website.  Any personal data contained in the body of the letter/email will remain in the representation.

Licensing Representation form

It will also assist if the representations are specific to the premises and evidence based. Interested parties may, therefore wish to talk to local police beforehand, or document problems themselves by, for example, keeping a diary or photographic evidence of any incidents.

Licensing authorities will need to be satisfied that there is an evidential and causal link between the representations made, and the effect on the licensing objectives.

In addition, the licensing authority can only consider representations that are not “vexatious” or “frivolous”.

What does a frivolous or vexatious representation mean?

“Frivolous” or “vexatious” will bear their ordinary meaning. Whether representations are frivolous or vexatious will be for the licensing authority to determine. For example, the licensing authority might find the representations were vexatious if they arise because of disputes between rival businesses or they might be frivolous representations if they plainly lacked seriousness.

Interested parties cannot make representations anonymously, even if somebody else (eg. a local MP or councillor) is making the representation on their behalf. This is because, for example, the licensing authority needs to be satisfied that the person making the representation is not being vexatious.

It is also important that an applicant is able to respond to a representation, for example, if they believe that it isn’t a “relevant” representation. If interested parties are concerned about possible intimidation, they could consider asking the police, or another appropriate responsible authority to make a representation on their behalf.

Things you may want to consider when making representations

  • If no relevant representations are made, the licence or variation must be granted (subject to the mandatory conditions).
  • It may be helpful to get the backing of other people living, or businesses operating in the vicinity of the premises, or other “responsible authorities”, such as the police or environmental health.
  • If you are thinking of raising a petition, it is important to ensure that the licensing authority can determine whether all the signatories are within the ‘vicinity’ of the premise. So, including their addresses and indicating clearly what representation(s) they are all making would be helpful. It would also help if a spokesperson could volunteer to receive details about the hearings etc. from the licensing authority and may be willing to speak on behalf of the petitioners at the hearing.
  • If you want to ask another person, such as an MP or local Councillor to represent you, it is advisable to make such a request in writing so that the individual can demonstrate he or she was asked. It will be a matter for the MP or Councillor to decide whether they should agree to your request.
    They are not obliged to do so, however, most elected representatives are happy to help residents with this sort of issue, and there is no requirement for them to live in the vicinity of the premises in question for them to be able to make representations on behalf of residents that do.
    Councillors who are part of the licensing committee hearing the application will not be able to enter into discussions with you about the application, outside of the formal hearing, so it is suggested that you do not approach them to try to.
  • Consider how you would like the situation to be rectified

What happens after a representation has been made?

If the licensing authority considers that the representations are relevant (ie are from an interested party and are not frivolous or vexatious), it must hold a hearing to consider those representations - unless all parties can come to an agreement beforehand, and agree that a hearing is unnecessary. For example, the licensing authority may offer to try and resolve matters via a negotiated agreement outside a formal hearing. You will need to decide if this is appropriate for you, but you can, of course, insist upon the hearing.

The licensing authority will write to you to inform you of the date and time of the hearing and will explain the format of the hearing.

If an applicant withdraws their application after a hearing date has been arranged, the licensing authority will let them know that the hearing has been cancelled. Interested parties should be aware that if they make representations about an application that is later withdrawn, and the applicant makes a new, amended application, their representations will not automatically be taken forward.

Any amended application would need to be re-advertised as set out above. Interested parties will then have the opportunity to decide whether to make representations about the new application

Licensing Committee Hearings

Interested parties that made representations are required to give notice to the licensing authority at least 5 working days before the start of the hearing, stating:

  • Whether they will attend the hearing in person
  • Whether they will be represented by someone else (eg councillor / MP / lawyer)
  • Whether they think that a hearing is unnecessary (if, for example they have come to an agreement before the formal hearing)
  • If they want another person to appear at the hearing (not to represent them), a request for permission for the person to attend, and details of their name and how they may be able to assist the authority in relation to the application

Interested parties must let the licensing authority know as soon as possible (by a notice no later than 24 hours before the start of a hearing, or orally at the hearing) if they wish to withdraw their representation.

Hearings will generally be held in public, unless the licensing authority decides it is in the public interest to hold all, or part of the hearing in private. The licensing authority shall ensure that a record is taken of the hearing. You can download the agenda and minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committee meetings from our Council Meetings page.

Hearings will normally take the form of a discussion and will be led by the licensing authority, which will consist of 3 local authority elected councillors (this will be the licensing sub-committee drawn from a full licensing committee of 15 councillors).

The licensing authority will explain the procedure to be followed. It will determine any request for additional persons to appear at the hearing. It will consider evidence produced in support before the hearing and can consider evidence produced by a party at the hearing, but only if all parties agree.

Further evidence can also be produced if this was sought for clarification of an issue by the authority before the hearing. Cross-examination of one party by another during a hearing is not allowed, unless the licensing authority thinks it necessary.

The parties are entitled to address the authority and will be allowed equal time to address the authority and, if they have been given permission by the authority to do so, they will be given equal time to ask any questions of any other party. The authority will disregard any information it considers to be irrelevant.

NB - A hearing can still go ahead in the absence of any party (eg applicant or interested party).

Hearing Decisions

As a result of the hearing, the licensing authority must then decide how to proceed in order to promote the licensing objectives. It may:

  • Decide to grant or vary the licence in the same terms as it was applied for
  • Decide that it is necessary to refuse to issue or vary the licence
  • Decide to grant or vary the licence, but to modify the conditions
  • Exclude from the scope of the licence a licensable activity
  • In the case of a premises licence, refuse to specify a person as the premises supervisor

Licensing Authorities must give notice of its decision within 5 working days (if it does not give a decision at the hearing) and include information on the right of a party to appeal against the decision.

Contact details

You can send in your representation by post or email to:

Licensing Team
St Albans Council
Civic Centre
St Peters Street
St Albans

Tel 01727 819541

Licence Review Applications Toggle accordion

The Licensing Act provides a mechanism for interested parties, responsible authorities and club members to ask for a premises licence or club premises certificate to be reviewed. The same category of people who may object to a licence being granted or varied may apply for a review.

On what grounds can I ask for a review?

The request for the review of a premises licence or club premises certificate must be under one or more of the licensing objectives, which are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder;

  • public safety;

  • prevention of public nuisance; and

  • the protection of children from harm.

How do I ask for a licence to be reviewed?

Complete the application form carefully, providing as much detail to support your application. Send the original to us and send a copy of it to:

  • the premises licence holder or the club

  • each of the responsible authorities

  • You should also keep a copy for your records.

What happens then?

We will consider your application. For interested parties only - if the grounds for review are considered frivolous, vexatious or repetitious, or have already been considered we can refuse to review the licence. If this happens, we will tell you the reasons why.

If your application is accepted, we'll advertise that the licence is to be reviewed, other interested parties and responsible authorities will have 28 days to make representations.

At the end of that period, a hearing will be held before a licensing Sub-Committee within 20 working days to consider any representations.

The licence holder(s) and any other people making representations will be invited to attend.

Club Premises Certificate Toggle accordion

If you are a registered club and you wish to carry out any of the above activities you will need a club premises certificate

Clubs are organisations where people have joined together for particular social, sporting or political purposes and then combined to buy alcohol in bulk as members of the organisation to supply in the club.

Only qualifying clubs may hold club premises certificates which means they must have at least 25 members and met a set of conditions. Qualifying clubs should not be confused with proprietary clubs, which are clubs run commercially by individuals, partnerships or businesses for profit. These require a premises licence and are not qualifying clubs.

The arrangements for applying for or seeking to vary club premises certificates are extremely similar to those for a premises licence. Clubs may also use the minor variations process to make small changes to their certificates so long as these could have no adverse impact on the licensing objectives.

Apply online

Apply by post


Busking Toggle accordion

Busking or street entertainment is the performance of music, dance or street theatre in a public space for the main purpose of receiving donations of money from members of the public. Buskers or street entertainers are not paid or hired directly for their performance. Busking is a long established tradition which can add to the attractiveness and vibrancy of the city centre. For those living or working in the city centre busking can become the source of annoyance and could become a nuisance.

Please see the Codes of Conduct here:

Public Register Toggle accordion

Please visit the Public Register Of Licences And Registrations

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for on the public register please send your request

Contact Details
Licensing Service

St Albans City & District Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's St, St Albans AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819264