Premises licences

A premises licence, or a club premises certificate, is a permanent licence granted for a specific location that authorises the holder to carry on any or all of the following licensable activities:
  • the sale of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by a club to its members and guests
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (including plays, films, indoor sports, music and dancing) and
  • the sale of late-night refreshment (hot food and drink supplied between 11pm and 5am)
Premises licences can also be used to licence one-off events at which more than 500 people are expected to attend. For smaller one-off time limited events, a Temporary Event Notice may be more appropriate.
Eligibility criteria
Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:
anyone who carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates;
  • a recognised club;
  • a charity;
  • a health service body;
  • a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital;
  • a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales;
  • anyone discharging a statutory function under Her Majesty's prerogative;
  • a person from an educational institute; or any other permitted person.
Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.


Applications can be for a new licence or a variation of the hours or activities of an existing licence.  Each application will be different depending on the type and number of activities applied for. Full details of how to apply are given in the guidance notes attached to the application forms. An applicant will always be required to give notice of their application to a list of responsible authorities, which are statutory bodies including the Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and Trading Standards. 

Advertising licence applications

For a period of no less than 28 consecutive days, starting on the day after the day on which the application was given to the Licensing Authority, the applicant must display a notice on the premises containing a summary of the application.

This shall set out matters including the name of the applicant, the premises address, proposed licensable activities and the proposed hours of opening.

The advertising notice should also contain information about where representations can be made or where the full details of applications can be viewed, ie Three Rivers District Council, dates between which any interested parties are able to make a representation and a statement noting that it is an offence to knowingly make a false or reckless statement in connection to this application, to which a fine may be attached.

Other requirements of the advertisement are:

  • The advert must be displayed on pale blue paper or card
  • It must be a minimum of A4 or larger (preferably A3)
  • Font size 16 (minimum)
  • Font style Arial

The advert must be displayed in a prominent position on or near the premise, clearly visible to the general public.

Please see attached template for application of premises licence notice

The applicant must also advertise a notice of their application in a local newspaper, circulating in the vicinity of the premises. 

Application fees for premises licences applications and club premises certificates depend on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises, which is also used to calculate business rates. This value can be found through VOA. Premises that do not have a rateable value such as schools, church halls, open spaces and residential properties will automatically fall into the lowest fee band.
From the day an application for a new licence or variation is made, there is a 28-day consultation period to enable either any of the responsible authorities or any other persons to make representations in respect of the application.  These can either support or oppose the application.
After 28 days, if no objections have been made, the licence can be granted. If an objection has been made, the application will usually be referred to a hearing of the Licensing of Alcohol and Gambling Sub-Committee to be decided.
For a list of current applications, please see our Public Register for Current Applications .
Application forms
Forms for all types of premises licence applications can be collected from our offices or alternatively posted out on request.
You can also apply online for many types of applications on this page.
Designated Premises Supervisor
Every premises that sells alcohol has to specify an individual to take responsibility for the day to day control of a premises and to authorise other staff members to sell alcohol. This person is known as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and must hold a personal licence.
If the Designated Premises Supervisor stops working at the premises, the holder of the premises licence will need to apply to specify a new individual.  If there is no DPS specified on the licence, no alcohol can be sold on the premises.
Certain 'community' premises can apply to remove the requirement to specify a DPS on their premises licence, for example, if a management committee are responsible for the licence instead of an individual, as with some Community Associations. The licence must be granted before any change can be made. Please contact us to ensure you are eligible before applying.
Making changes to the licence
A licensed business may need to make changes to their licence from time to time. Applications to vary the licence can be made for any of the following:
  • Changing the layout of the premises,
  • to provide additional licensable activities at the premises,
  • Increasing the times that licensable activities are provided; and
  • adding, removing or changing conditions imposed upon the licence.

A Minor Variation may be applied for for small changes that will not harm any of the following four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • prevention of a public nuisance
  • protection of children from harm

It is for the Licensing Authority to decide whether the proposed changes could harm a licensing objective and minor variations are generally seen to include:

  • small changes to the structure or layout of the premises
  • small adjustments to licensing hours
  • removing out of date, irrelevant or unenforceable conditions
  • adding conditions
  • to add certain licensable activities
  • to reduce the hours for the sale or supply of alcohol or to move the current times (without increasing them) between 7am and 11pm

The minor variation procedure cannot be used to increase the times for selling or supplying alcohol.

Larger changes that may have an adverse effect on the licensing objectives will require a Full Variation Application. Those changes that require a full variation include:

  • changes to increase the times alcohol can be sold or supplied
  • to add the sale or supply of alcohol as a new licensable activity
  • to sell alcohol between 11pm and 7am
  • large structural changes to the premises that affect the licensable activities
  • to extend the duration of a time limited premises licence

Applicants who are unsure as to the effect the proposed changes may have on the licensing objectives are advised to contact the relevant Licensing Authority or seek independent legal advice.

If the changes are such that they would completely change the nature of the business, we may ask you to apply for a new licence.
Change of ownership
If the business changes hands, an application can be made to transfer the licence to the new owner.  The previous owner will usually be required to give their consent by signing a form, showing that they consent to transferring the licence.
If a premises licence holder has passed away, or become insolvent, a transfer application must be made within 28 days, to prevent the licence from lapsing. As an alternative, an Interim Authority Notice can be submitted within that 28-day period, which gives a further three months for a buyer for the business to be found.
Duration of licence
Premises licences have an unlimited duration, unless they are for short events and the holder has specified an expiry date.
For all other licences, an annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.  A reminder is sent to the licence holder shortly before payment is due.
A premises licence will only cease to have effect if it is surrendered by the licence holder, revoked by the Licensing Authority, or if the holder dies, becomes insolvent, or becomes mentally incapable.
Displaying your licence
You must display the ‘licence summary’ at your premises where it can be easily seen.
The other pages of the licence should be kept safely at the premises. Police or council officers can ask to inspect them at any time.
Fines and penalties
You can be fined up to £1,000 for failing to produce your licence on request.
If you carry out any licensable activities at your premises without a premises licence, you can be fined, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.
Contact us
For further information about premises licences, or to discuss any particular issues, please email us at, or phone us on 01923 776611.