Residents and visitors

Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003, which came into force on 24 November 2005, transferred the responsibility for licensing premises and persons selling alcohol from the courts to local authorities and replaced various separate Acts and regimes for entertainment, alcohol and late night refreshment licensing, combining all these activities into one licence under the new Act.

The Act sets out four licensing objectives, which the Council as the Licensing Authority, must seek to promote when carrying out its licensing functions. These are:

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

There are approximately 1000 licensed premises in the Royal Borough, and each year the Council receives around 850 Temporary Event Notices for one-off events. For details of licensed premises or temporary events in your area visit the licensing registers page.

The 2003 Act also abolished standard licensing hours, thereby allowing premises to apply to stay open for longer hours. The prospect of later licensing hours can be of concern to local residents, particularly as residential and business properties sit alongside each other throughout the borough.

To find out about applications which may affect you, you can:

Making Representations to an application

If you are experiencing problems with a licensed premises, read Reviewing a premises licence/club premises certificate

Where an application is unopposed, the Council must grant the licence as applied for, subject to conditions which are consistent with the applicant’s operating schedule and which are necessary to promote the licensing objectives. Applications which are opposed are referred to the Council’s Licensing Sub Committee for consideration.

The following additional guidance notes and information are available:

Residents Guide 2016 jan.pdf [PDF] (file size 184.96 KB)

Guidance notes produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Home Office

Making Representations [PDF] (file size 78Kb) - this guide describes the process for making representations to licensing authorities

Appealing licensing decisions [PDF] (file size 46Kb) - this guide describes the process for appealing a licensing authority’s decision

Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005, which came into effect on 1 September 2007, deals with the licensing of premises used for gambling, (premises such as Casinos, Betting Shops, Gaming Arcades and Bingo Halls), the registration of small non commercial lotteries, and permits for gaming machines in pubs and clubs.

The Act requires this Authority to carry out its various licensing functions so as to be reasonably consistent with the following three licensing objectives:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

There are currently 42 licensed gambling premises in the borough (as at 1 June 2013). You can search the Gambling Register to find details of licensed gambling premises in your area.

The following additional guidance notes and information are available:

Other licensing functions

The Licensing Team also deal with various other types of licences and registrations including special treatment premises, sex shops, pet shops, riding establishments, fireworks and explosives, and exhibitions. For further information on these or any other types of licences please have a look at the Applicants and Businesses page or contact the Licensing Team.