Licensing Act 2003


The Licensing Act 2003 introduced significant changes to Licensing Laws in England and Wales and completely changed the way licensing is dealt with. Licences dealt with by us:

  • alcohol
  • public entertainment
  • theatre
  • cinema
  • late night refreshment
  • night cafes
  • registered club licence.

License types

If you are involved in carrying out any of the above establishments, you may need to be licensed. 

Key measures

The key measures contained in the act are:

  • flexible opening hours, with the potential for up to 24 hour opening, seven days a week, subject to consideration to the impact on the local residents. This, it is hoped, will help to minimise public disorder resulting from fixed closing times
  • premises licence a single scheme for licensing premises which sell alcohol, provide public entertainment or provide refreshment late at night
  • personal licences a new system of personal licences which allow holders to sell or serve alcohol for consumption on or off any premises possessing a premise licence
  • designated premises supervisor a personal licence holder immediately identifiable as being in day to day charge of licensed premises
  • Magistrates Court to deal with appeals against the local authority.

In offering this advice we wish to make it clear that:

  • Legislation may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the time the guidance was produced. It is not necessarily comprehensive and is subject to revision in the light of further information.
  • Only the courts can interpret statutory legislation with any authority.
  • This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to, or a substitute for, the relevant law. Independent legal advice should be sought where appropriate.

Statement of Licensing Policy

The current Statement of Licensing Policy which can be found below, was approved by Full Council on 9 December 2020 and became effective on 7 January 2021. This was preceded by revision, update, and consultation of the amended policy and in consideration of all responses received.

On 18 April 2013, the Licensing Authority adopted a special policy relating to cumulative impact in respect to all licensed premises for the ‘Can-Do’ area. This was subsequently reviewed and published on 7 January 2016. Following a change in legislation, on 18 October 2018, the licensing committee resolved the retention of the special policy (approved by full council on 12 December 2018) and published a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) setting out the evidence for its decision. Evidence received from responses to the 2020 consultation revealed that the cumulative impact policy required retention with modification to the types of application which would be affected by the special policy. As of 7 January 2021, any application which requests ‘Off sale’ of alcohol will be subject to the cumulative impact policy. The evidence basis for this decision is detailed in the Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) below.

The current CIA can be found below.

In accordance with the Act, the Statement of Licensing Policy must be kept under review and remains in existence for a period of five years. Cumulative Impact Policies, (within overarching Statement of Licensing Policies) and Cumulative Impact Assessments must be reviewed and republished every three years.

Statement of Licensing policy1.62MBpdf
Size: 1.62MBFile format: pdf
CIA statement1.02MBpdf
Size: 1.02MBFile format: pdf