Premises Licences (Licensing Act 2003)

Important changes regarding Off Sales of Alcohol

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has temporarily modified the Licensing Act 2003 in order to provide an automatic extension to the terms of most premises licences which only permit the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises to allow for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises. The Act also includes provisions to temporarily modify existing licence conditions on premises already licensed for both on and off sales of alcohol which restrict off sales to an earlier closing time than the permitted hours for on-sales, prevent off sales of alcohol in an open container, or prevent off sales by way of deliveries.   Premises wishing to utilise either of these provisions must notify the licensing team of their intention to do so and prepare a statement to that effect. Please read The Business and Planning Act 2020 Guidance Note for further details of how these measures may affect your business and for templates of the statements which you can use.

These temporary provisions have now been extended until 30 September 2023.

Licence Summary

To provide late-night refreshments and certain regulated entertainment, and sell alcohol, you need a licence from the local authority if you are in England and Wales.

Exempt Entertainment

Certain types of entertainment have now been de-regulated where specific criteria are met and where the entertainment takes place between the hours of 8am and 11pm. For more information please see the Exempt Entertainment details below or contact the licensing team for further advice if you are unsure whether you need a licence for entertainment.

For advice on busking please see the Council's Guide to Busking in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea:

Pre-Application Advice Service

We offer a pre-application advice service to support your licensing application made under the Licensing Act 2003. The aim is to help you to mitigate any problems which may arise during the application process. However, our advice cannot prejudge the outcome of the licensing application, especially if representations are received and a hearing takes place before the Licensing Sub-Committee. Find out more about pre-application advice and download the request form.

We have also produced a pool of conditions which applicants may wish to refer to when completing their operating schedule.

Marriage/Civil Partnership venues

If you intend to hold civil marriages or civil partnerships in your premises, the trustee or proprietor must apply separately for an Approved Premises licence from the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. For guidance on this process, and to access the application form, please e-mail [email protected]Find out more about marriage/civil partnership venues at GOV.UK.

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
  • the proprietor of an educational establishment
  • a health service body
  • a person who is registered under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 in respect of an independent hospital in Wales
  • a person who is registered under Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 in respect of the carrying on of a regulated activity (within the meaning of that Part) in an independent hospital in England
  • a chief Police officer of a force in England and Wales
  • anyone discharging a statutory function under Her Majesty's prerogative
  • any other permitted person

Individual applicants must be aged 18 years or over and must have a right to work in the UK.

Regulation Summary

See the regulations for premises licences for further information.

Application evaluation process

Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by the required fee, plans (if applicable) and any other relevant information. Please see the schedule of fees for further details. Application fees are non-refundable in the event that an application is withdrawn or rejected. If your application is for the grant of a new licence, or the variation of an existing licence, you will also need to provide an operating schedule which is included within the application form.

An operating schedule will include details of:

  • the licensable activities
  • the times when the activities will take place
  • any other times when the premises will be open to the public
  • in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence, the period the licence is required for
  • information in respect of the premises supervisor
  • whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or of the premises or both
  • the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other required information.

Applicants may be required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to any other person or responsible body, for example the local authority, Chief Police officer or Fire and Rescue Authority. Further details of the advertising and notification requirements for particular applications are available on by selecting the appropriate form in the Apply Now section.

If no representations are received the licensing authority must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing must be held if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held the licence can be granted or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded, or the application can be rejected.

The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations (i.e. representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious) and the chief of Police.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes – If the application is made online and is unopposed at the end of the consultation period*. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period. The Council's target completion periods for Licensing Act 2003 premises licence applications are listed below:

  • new, provisional and full variation applications - 40 days
  • all other application types* - 30 days

*Minor variation applications cannot be given tacit authorisation as by law they are automatically refused if the authority has not determined the application after 15 working days from receipt.

Apply now

Please select the type of application you want to make. You are advised to save a copy of your original application in case there are any amendments that need to be made on the form and it needs to be resubmitted.

If you are making your application online you do not need to send a copy of your application to any responsible authorities. The licensing authority will notify the relevant authorities of your application. If applying by post you must send a copy of your application to the relevant responsible authorities. Please see the list of responsible authorities for details of which authorities must be sent a copy of your application.

Guidance Notes, Notices and Fees

Failed Application Redress

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

Licence Holder Redress

A licence holder may appeal against any conditions attached to a licence, a decision to reject a variation application, a decision to reject a transfer application or a decision to exclude an activity or person as premises supervisor.

Appeals must be made to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Consumer Complaint

A responsible authority or any other person who is affected by the premises may apply to the Licensing Authority to review a premises licence. Following receipt of a review application a hearing will be held by the Licensing Authority. See reviewing a premises licence/club premises certificate for further details.

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

A responsible authority or any other person who is affected by the premises may make representations in relation to an application for a provisional statement, or for the grant, variation or review of a licence.

Any person or responsible authority who has made relevant representations may appeal against the granting of a licence or against any condition, variation or licensable activity decisions.

Appeals must be made to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision.

The chief Police officer for the police area where the premises are located may make representations against any application for a provisional statement, or for the grant, variation or review of a licence, and can give notice to the authority if he believes that the transfer of a licence, or the variation of the designated premises supervisor, or the re-instatement of a licence by way of an interim authority notice, would undermine the crime prevention objective.

The chief Police officer also has additional powers to review a premises licence where a premises is associated with either serious crime or disorder or both.

Trade Associations

Last updated: 13 April 2023