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Licensing Act 2003

Licensing Act 2003 - Stop Press News

Entertainment Exemptions under the Licensing Act effective from 6 April 2015

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)

Films
The showing of pre-recorded films which are incidental to some other activity (for example, drinking, eating or playing pool) is not licensable. This will very much be dependent on the facts of each case but the real test will be, Is the showing of any pre-recorded film likely to undermine one of the licensing objectives?

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

None of the exemptions affect the need to apply for copyright licensing or the requirement not to cause a noise nuisance. Regulated Entertainment is a complex area and there are other minor exemptions - we recommend you take legal advice if in any doubt.'

Implementation of the Licensing Act 2003

In 2001, the Government announced plans to reform the country's licensing laws and produced the Licensing Bill.

The Licensing Bill received Royal Assent on 10 July 2003 and came fully into force on 24 November 2005. The changes in the law affect anyone who is concerned with:

  • pubs and nightclubs
  • off licences
  • restaurants that serve alcohol
  • businesses offering hot food between 11pm and 5am (including takeaways and mobile caterers)
  • hotels, guest houses and other places that sell alcohol
  • private members clubs and social clubs
  • theatres and amateur dramatic groups
  • cinemas
  • organisers of occasional entertainments (see below for more details)
  • indoor sporting events.

The licensable activities are:

  • The sale by retail of alcohol
  • The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club, or to the order of,  a member of a club
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late night refreshment

The Licensing Act 2003 has changed the existing laws concerning the type of licences needed to provide any of the above facilities. Under the new system:

  • A premises licence will be required for any place which offers entertainment, refreshment at night and/or alcohol
  • A personal licence will be required by anyone who wants to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on or off their premises
  • Licensees, the council and other agencies must all work to promote the licensing objectives
  • The Police will have greater power to deal with problems and be able to close premises, which are the focus of disorder
  • There will be no fixed permitted hours on closing times
  • The council, and not the court, will deal with all of the new licences.

Guidance and information

We have prepared a series of fact sheets and guidance notes to assist applicants to make applications under the Licensing Act 2003. See Licensing Downloads for more information.

If you require any further guidance from the police regarding licensing applications they can be reached at 'D' Division Headquarters by ringing 01332 613037. Alternatively, you can access the local area police website to talk to an officer regarding local issues.

Premises Licences

A Premises Licence can be granted for a business supplying alcohol or entertainment or late night food (on or off the premises)

When applying for a Premises Licence applicants will have to submit:

  • a plan of their building
  • an Operating Schedule (a brief description of how the premises will be operated safely)
  • a fee - the fees are in bands corresponding to your non-domestic rateable value and are set by the Government
  • the name of the designated premises supervisor (only for those premises that supply alcohol)

The applicant must advertise their application in a local newspaper within 10 working days of  making the application to the licensing authority.

The four licensing objectives are:

  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • prevention of harm to children

We must carry out its functions under the legislation with a view to promoting the licensing objectives and must issue a licensing statement setting out its policy.

We will have to grant a licence unless it conflicts with one of the four Licensing Objectives. The Responsible Authorities [PDF 9KB]  may also impose conditions that promote the licensing objectives, for example, noise control measures to prevent public nuisance.

If representations are made about either granting or varying a licence in any way, our Licensing Committee (made up of Councillors) will hold a Hearing to consider the application. For further information see Current Applications.

Club Premises Certificates

The Licensing Act 2003 recognises that volunteer and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public.

These clubs (such as the Royal British Legion, working men's or cricket or rugby clubs) are generally organisations where members join together for a particular social, sporting or political purpose and then combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for members.

The clubs carry on activities from premises to which public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit. For these reasons, the 2003 Act preserves aspects of earlier alcohol licensing law which applied to 'registered members clubs' and affords clubs special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements.

Clubs which meet specified criteria set out in the 2003 Act are known as 'qualifying clubs' and the authority under which they may supply alcohol and conduct other 'qualifying club activities' from their premises is a club premises certificate issued by the licensing authority. The grant of a club premises certificate means that a club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor. There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.

The arrangements for applying for club premises certificates are extremely similar to those in respect of premises licences. For example, similar provisions apply regarding the requirement for advertisement of applications and the making of representations to the licensing authority as apply in the case of applications for premises licences. For further information please see Clubs - Guidance [PDF 25KB].

Representations

A key feature of the new licensing regime is to allow anyone to have a say in licensing applications that they think may affect them, as well as ensuring that professionals such as the police, public health, fire, planning, trading standards, child protection and environmental health officers are able to submit their recommendations, and take action if problems occur after the grant of a premises licence.

The 2003 Act allows anyone to make a 'representation' if they think they will be affected by an application for a premises licence. This includes any individual, body, business or organisation. Whilst any of these persons may act in their own right, they may also request that a representative makes a representation to the licensing authority on their behalf. A representative may include a legal representative, a friend, a Member of Parliament, or a local  ward or parish councillor who can all act in such a capacity.

If they think granting a new, or varying an existing licence or certificate would undermine any of the licensing objectives, they can make representations to the relevant licensing authority. Any representation made by these persons must be 'relevant' to the 'licensing objectives'. They can also ask the licensing authority to review a licence or certificate if problems occur which undermine the licensing objectives. 

If someone wishes to appeal against a licensing decision, they will have the right to do so to the magistrates' court. For further information on representations please see Current Applications.

Provisional Statements

People who are considering opening licensed premises may apply for a provisional statement.

This allows new premises to be prepared in the confidence that a full licence will be granted, providing that it is built according to the original Operating Schedule and plans submitted to us, and that there have been no material changes in the meantime.

For further information contact the Licensing Department or download the Application Form [PDF 88KB].

Temporary Event Notices

Licences will not be needed for small events where fewer than 499 people are likely to attend, and which last for less than 168 hours (1 week), at a time.

Someone who holds a Personal Licence will be able to hold up to 50 temporary events a year (including 10 late TENs). Non-Personal Licence holders will be able to hold up to 5 temporary events a year (Including 2 late TENs).

A Temporary Event Notice must be given to the licensing department, Environmental Health and the police at least 10 working days (5-9 working days if a late TEN) before an event of this sort can be held. NB This does not include the day of receipt of the Notice by the Council and the police, or the actual day of the event. The police may object to a Temporary Event Notice on crime and disorder grounds. For further information see  Temporary Event Notice.

Personal Licences

To get a Personal Licence you must:

  • be over 18
  • not have any relevant criminal convictions as spelt out in the Act
  • possess an approved licensing qualification
  • pay the required fee

Personal Licences will be needed to supervise the sale of alcohol in any premises including pubs, off-licences, restaurants, hotels and private members' clubs.

You can apply for a Personal Licence to the council for the area in which you live. This will then remain the council responsible for continuing to licence you, even if you move away from the area.

Personal Licences will be valid for 10 years. There will be various duties on holders of Personal Licences, and the court can forfeit their licence if they are convicted of any relevant offences.

The police will have the right to object to a licensee on the ground of crime prevention, particularly if someone has a relevant criminal conviction. For further information see Personal Licence.

Review of Premises Licences

Sometimes, licensed premises can create some problems for local residents. On the rare occasion this happens, we will try and resolve the issues informally. However, any of the Responsible Authorities, or any person, body or organisation can apply for a Review of a licensed premises.

Providing a complaint is not frivolous, vexatious or repetitive, a Hearing will be held by a licensing committee made up of Councillors. This committee may decide to take no action,  to impose extra conditions on the licence, or It can also suspend either all or part of the licence for up to three months.

For further information and guidance please see Problem Premises and Reviews.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)

Door supervisor licences and badges are changing. During 2004 door supervisor licences and badges currently issued by the police and some local authorities will be phased out.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has been set up by the Government to issue licences instead. You will then need only one licence to work anywhere in England and Wales.

It will be against the law to work as a door supervisor without an SIA licence.

The SIA will only grant a licence to people who have the right skills and training to do the job, and who can pass a criminal background check.

SIA licences are not being issued yet but anyone wishing to make an application needs to give their details to the SIA now. More information will then be sent to them in time to apply.

Details can be submitted to the SIA on 08702 430 100 or see the SIA Website.

NB: This information is only intended as a general guide to changes in the law. You should consult your own professional advisers for more detailed advice.

Licensing Applications and Guidance Information

You can download licensing forms and application guidance information from the Licences and Licensing Downloads section. See Licensing Downloads.

Information on other websites

Further Information

For further information on any of  the above please contact the Licensing Department using the details below:

Licensing Office
Erewash Borough Council
The Civic Centre
Derby Road
Long Eaton
NG10 1HU

Tel:  0115 9071113
Fax: 0115 9071121
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Erewash Borough Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you provide on the above application forms for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public finds for these purposes.

Further information is available on our website (see Fair Processing Notice)