Last edited 21 Mar 2019

Licensing buildings


[edit] Licensing Act

The Licensing Act brings together a range of provisions relating to the licensing of premises and clubs. A premises licence is required from the local authority if alcohol is sold, or if ‘licensable activities’ are provided from a particular venue. This includes:

  • Selling alcohol.
  • Serving hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am.
  • Theatrical performances.
  • Showing films.
  • Indoor sporting events.
  • Boxing or wrestling.
  • Live or recorded music and facilities for making music.
  • Dance and dancing facilities.

Some activities do not require a licence:

  • Showing educational or promotional films or films that are part of an exhibition in a museum or gallery.
  • Incidental music.

Venues that might require a licence could include:

  • Community premises.
  • Pubs.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Restaurants or establishments selling take-away food.
  • Sports venues.
  • Public entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres.

The fees for premises applications are set on a sliding scale from £100 to £1,905 based on the rateable value of the premises.

In addition to premises licences, where alcohol is sold from licensed premises a member of staff must hold a personal licence.

[edit] Temporary event notices (TEN)

Events which involve licensable activities, accommodate less than 500 people at any one time (including staff) and last no more than seven days require a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). Licensable activities include; selling alcohol, providing regulated entertainment (such as music, dancing or indoor sporting events) or providing late night refreshment.

No more than twelve TEN's can be given for any one venue each year (or 21 days in aggregate), and there must be at least 24 hours between events. Failure to obtain a TEN can result in a £20,000 fine and / or a prison sentence of up to six months.

If a temporary event is for more than 500 people or seven days, a premises licence is required if the venue does not already have one.

[edit] The Gambling Act

The Gambling Act relates to premises used for gambling, the registration of small non-commercial lotteries and gaming machines in pubs and clubs. Premises that might be affect could include; casinos, betting shops, gaming arcades and bingo halls.

[edit] Other licences

Other activities that might require licences include:

  • Sex entertainment venues (SEV’s).
  • Manufacture and storage of explosives.
  • Sunday loading and unloading.
  • Special treatments such as massage, saunas and sunbeds.
  • Hairdressers.
  • Animals, animal moving, animal boarding, dog breeding, zoos and pet shops.
  • Births, marriages and deaths.
  • Door supervisors.
  • Piercing, tattooing, electrolysis, acupuncture, and semi-permanent skin-colouring.
  • Non medicinal poisons (Poisons Act 1972 and Poisons List Order 1982).
  • Food businesses.
  • House to house collection.
  • Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). Licensing is required for HMO's with three or more storeys that are occupied by five or more persons forming two or more households. Additional licensing can be imposed if the local authority considers that a significant proportion of a landlord's or manager's HMO's are being poorly managed.
  • Riding establishments.
  • Scrap metal dealers (Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964).
  • Motor salvage operators.
  • Occasional sales including 5 or more stalls, vehicles or pitches (such as car boot sales).
  • Building works affecting the public highway such as; skips and scaffolding, hoardings, gantries, dropped kerbs and the opening up the carriageway or footway.
  • Stage hypnotism.
  • Street trading.
  • Advertising boards, tables and chairs on the public highway.
  • Taxis.
  • Watersports and boatmen.

Other licenses may be required by central government, for example; goods or services offered on credit and money lending must be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT); research and testing using animals must be licensed by the Home Office, as must the handling of controlled drugs, and so on.

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