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Licensing Act 2003

Below is a brief outline of the act but for a specific part of the whole act please use the link on the right of this page. 

The Licensing Act 2003 became law on 24 November 2005.

The Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) introduced a single license scheme for licensing premises which:

    Supply alcohol
    Provide regulated entertainment
    Provide late night refreshment

About the Act:

    Key features of the Act
    General offences
    Crime and disorder

Licensing objectives

Licensing authorities operate according to four licensing objectives, to make sure that licensable activities are carried out in the public interest:

    The prevention of crime and disorder
    Public safety
    The prevention of public nuisance
    The protection of children from harm

Key features of the Act

    Flexible opening hours for premises
    Consideration of the impact of opening hours on local residents and businesses.
    A single premises licence authorising premises for multiple licensing activities
    Personal licences relating to the supply of alcohol premises licences issued by licensing authorities after notification and scrutiny of all applications by the police and other authorities
    Local residents and businesses have the right to make representations about applications
    Personal licences issued by licensing authorities after scrutiny by the police, where the applicant has been convicted of certain offences

General offences

Part 7 of the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act") outlines many of the general offences contained within the legislation, and is split into six distinct areas:

    Unauthorised licensable activities
    Drunkenness and disorderly conduct on licensed premises
    Smuggled goods
    Children and alcohol
    Vehicles and trains
    False statements

Crime and disorder

The Act also has an important role in the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance, while giving people more freedom and choice in their leisure time.

The Act allows licence applicants to appeal against licensing authority decisions and allows anyone who has made a relevant representation to an application to appeal against decision.

For example a landlord could appeal against conditions attached to a licence, while a local resident or interested party who had made a relevant representation could appeal against the licence being granted at all.

Interested parties including local residents can also request a review of a particular premises licence, when problems occur which are related to the licensing objectives. Following the review the licensing authority can consider a range of responses such as suspending or revoking the licences, excluding certain licensable activities or changing conditions attached to a licence. However, it can only take these actions where they are necessary to address the problem and promote one or more of the four licensing objectives.

Link to the full Licensing Act 2003

Premises Licence Variation

Where a Premises Licence holder wishes to amend the licence, the Licensing Act allows, in most cases, for an application to vary to be made rather than requiring an application for a new Premises Licence.

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