Near Beer Licences


Permission summary

Anyone wishing to run a "Near Beer Premises" in the borough will require a licence from the Council.

A "Near Beer  Premises" means any premises (including a vehicle, vessel or stall) which consists to a significant degree of:

  • the sale to customers of any drink for consumption on the premises which includes in its trade description any of the following words:- beer, lager, pils, shandy, cider, wine, champagne, cocktail, sherry, gin, brandy, whisky, vodka, or other words which imply that the drink contains or would reasonably be expected to contain alcohol, or
  • the sale to customers of any drink for consumption on the premises which would be expected to contain alcohol or calculated to represent any alcoholic drink, and
  • offers, either expressly or by implication:-
    • companions for customers, and/or
    • live entertainment on the premises

But does not include any premises which has a premises licence which permits the sale of alcohol, or regulated entertainment comprising either music, dancing, plays, or film exhibitions during the hours permitted by that licence.

Eligibility Criteria

The local authority may refuse to grant, renew or transfer a licence on any of the following grounds:

(a) the premises are not structurally suitable for the purpose;

(b) there is a likelihood of nuisance being caused by reason of the conduct, management or situation of the premises or the character of the relevant locality or the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put;

(c) the persons concerned or intended to be concerned in the conduct or management of the premises as a near beer establishment could be reasonably regarded as not being fit and proper persons to hold such a licence;

(d) the premises are not provided with satisfactory means of lighting, sanitation and ventilation;

(e) the means of heating the premises are not safe;

(f) proper precautions against fire on the premises are not being taken;

(g) satisfactory means of escape in case of fire and suitable means for fighting fire are not provided on the premises;

(h) the applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of subsection (4) or (6) of section 17 of the London Local Authorities Act 1995 (this relates to non-compliance with the Council’s application process, and/or failure to pay the application fee).

Regulation Summary

See the summary of regulations relating to this licence for further information. In addition, the Council has prescribed Rules Governing Applications, which applicants must comply with.

Application evaluation process

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided by the local authority and include any information and documentation which the Council requires as specified in the Rules Governing Applications. The application must also be accompanied by the correct application fee, please see the schedule of fees for further information

Applicants are also required to advertise their application by means of a notice displayed at the premises for 28 days and give notice of their application to the chief Police officer and Fire Authority. Please see the rules and guidance notes below for further details of the advertising and notification requirements for particular applications. Applicants should contact the licensing team prior to submitting their application for the public notice template.

The local authority will consult the London Fire Authority and Metropolitan Police on all applications, and in some cases may also consult the Council’s Planning and Environmental Health Departments. The authority will take into account any representations made by these authorities, or any other person when determining an application

If the application is opposed the application will normally be referred to the Council’s Regulation and Enforcement Sub-Committee for consideration and decision. Information relating to the committee hearing will be sent to the applicant and any other interested parties prior to the hearing.

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the licensing authority within a reasonable period, please email the licensing team.

Apply via Post

Applications for licenses must be submitted on the prescribed forms, which are available in PDF format. If you require Word versions please contact the Licensing Team.


Licence Fees

On the day your application is submitted to the Council you must have sent a copy of the application to the organisations listed below. You must send these applications by Recorded Delivery post and you must send the recorded delivery slips to the Council with your application form.

  • Police Licensing Office, c/o Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, London, W8 6PW
  • Fire Authority (LFEPA): Fire Safety Regulation, South West Area 4, Kensington and Chelsea Fire Safety Team, 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL

Applications for the grant, renewal or variation of an annual licence must also be advertised by all of the following methods:

  • displaying a notice at the premises using the form provided by the Council
  • sending notification to local residents' associations
  • publishing a notice in the local press

Please contact the licensing team prior to submitting your application for the necessary forms and list of residents' associations.

Failed Application Redress

If an application for a licence is refused the applicant can appeal to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision. Magistrates' Court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision. Magistrates' Court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

The council operates a complaints procedure. To view the complaints procedure or to make a complaint relating to the service you have received please see comments, complaints and feedback.

Other Redress

If there is a concern about noise, pollution, consumer rights or trade descriptions please contact the Council's Environmental Health Line on 020 7361 3002 or email If your complaint relates to an existing licensed premises or a premises is suspected of operating without the required permission please contact the Council's Licensing Team on 020 7341 5152 or email

Last updated: 31 January 2020