A premises licence is required for any premises used for one or more of the licensable activities:
- sale of alcohol by retail (including via the internet or mail order)
- wholesale of alcohol to members of the public
- supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club
- provision of regulated entertainment
- provision of late night refreshment
Any person involved with a business which uses the premises for licensable activities may apply for a premises licence either on a permanent or time-limited basis. Certain other individuals and groups (including registered clubs, charities, NHS organisations etc) may also apply for a premises licence. A person will have to be identified as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS); such a nominee will have to be in possession of a current Personal Licence.
A club premises certificate permits licensable activities at the premises of a "qualifying club". A qualifying club applying for a Club Premises Certificate does not need a DPS as there is no supply of alcohol by retail taking place. Alcohol may be bought for the club by the members and the money being passed across the bar is to maintain equity between members. Please make sure that the club rule book makes clear the policy for guests. Clubs should carefully consider whether they should apply for a club premises certificate or a premises licence. As committee members and secretaries in clubs change, please ensure the Council is informed as it is an offence not to.
A club will be considered to be 'qualifying' provided that:
- Under the club rules, persons may not be admitted to membership, or be admitted as candidates for membership, to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination or application for membership or their admission;
- Under the club rules, people becoming members without nomination or prior application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of two days between them becoming members and their admission;
- The club has a minimum of 25 members;
- The club is established and conducted in good faith as a club.
Qualifying clubs should not be confused with proprietary clubs, which are clubs run commercially by individuals, partnerships or businesses for the purposes of profit. Proprietary clubs will require a premises licence and are not eligible to be qualifying clubs.
What do I do next?
All currently held licences if the application is for a transfer, variation or change of DPS.
A plan of 1:100 scale (unless otherwise arrange with HBC Licensing Officers) of the premises which should include the following details:
- location and extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and internal walls of the building and, if different, the perimeter of the premises
- location of points of access to and exit from the premises
- in a case where the premises is used for more than one existing licensable activity, the area within the premises used for each activity
- in a case where an existing licensable activity relates to the sale of alcohol, the location or locations on the premises which is or are used for the consumption of alcohol; Fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals on the premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment
- in a case where the premises includes any steps, stairs elevators or lifts, the location of steps, stairs, elevators or lifts
- n a case where the premises includes any room or rooms containing public conveniences, the location of the room or rooms
- location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment
- location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises
An operating schedule is part of the application form for premises licences and club premises licences. This outlines what activities are proposed to be permitted, when the activities will take place and how the activities will be managed and the overall opening hours when either the public are permitted on the premises.
It is advisable to apply for the maximum amount of hours for any activity giving particular thought to community centres as these premises often have many different users. It may be prudent to apply for activities that currently do not take place as hirers may request those activities in the future.
One of the most critical parts of the operating schedule is the section describing the steps intended to promote the four licensing objectives as what is written in this section may become a condition of the licence. Sections 11.4 – 11.9 of the Havant Borough Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy provides further guidance.
Signage – Good signage can operate at many levels. At the door, clear signs can clarify the premises policy regarding any age restriction policies such as "over 18s only", "over 21s only" or "no unaccompanied children". Whether signs repeat the law or express the policy of the premises it can act as a deterrent and as a tool for staff enforcing the law or the premises policy in a non-confrontational manner. However, it is certainly not the wish of Havant Borough Council to turn all licensed premises into notice boards. Signs should be used if there are specific problems, or where there is a need to demarcate certain areas for particular activities. Some examples of signs that could be used may include:
"CCTV operates in this area and lawlessness will be reported to the police"
"This premises operates a zero tolerance drugs policy"
"Proof of age for purchase of certain goods may be required"
"Supervised children are welcome in the restaurant area before 8pm"
"No drinks allowed in this area/beyond this point"
Staff training – Well-trained staff are a real asset to any business. Critical areas of staff training in licensed premises should include a good knowledge of what is and is not permitted on the premises. The chain of command of a licensed premises is very important and in it’s statement of licensing policy Havant Borough Council expects applicants, particularly of premises retailing alcohol which must have a designated premises supervisor, to have a well defined management structure especially when the designated premises is not physically on the premises, an example of best practice would be that the duty manager signs in for duty in a logbook so that it is clear for everybody who is in charge of the premises at any particular time. It would also be considered best practice for all duty managers to be personal licence holders so that the required knowledge level can be assured when the designated premises supervisor is not physically present. Other key areas that should be covered include:
- What to do if they think that there is a customer behaviour problem or is likely to occur.
- What to do and any special responsibilities in case of fire or any other need to evacuate the premises.
- Where the supply of alcohol is concerned or where any age restriction is applicable training should be given and maintained as to what is acceptable proof of age identification and what is not, as the names of cards may change over time and new cards offered the PASS accreditation.
- Where applicable, staff should know what would be expected of them if an incident occurred and potentially that if a court case ensued that they may have to give evidence.
- What is the premises drug policy and what to do if drugs are found on the premises?
- What to do if they feel threatened into making an illegal sale and how best to avoid such situations
Moreover, if staff members are well trained they may feel more confident to be more proactive in keeping trouble out of the premises. The best way to arrange this is to have a document which details what the staff training consists of and documentation to show that each member of staff is familiar with the material. This document may be referred to in the operating schedule. Where agency staff are used, be sure that they have received a thorough briefing of what their role is and where possible try and re-use the same staff so that they get to know the premises and clientele.
Drinks promotions should never encourage binge drinking. The implications on the community should be considered whenever an alcoholic drinks promotion occurs. A statement to clarify the drinks promotion policy of the premises is advisable where relevant.
Managed houses and tenanted houses are encouraged to supply contact details to the licensing authority of area managers so that notification of issues arising that could bring the reputation of the company into ill repute can dealt with effectively.
Special consideration should be made regarding the licensing objectives when special events such as football events or other local or national events and how these events will impact the local community and what can be done to minimise the negative impact.
For all applications for grant or full variation of a premises licence or club premises licence, the law requires a blue A4 sized notice in a prescribed format to be prominently displayed on or near the premises in such a place where passing members of the public can clearly see and read the notice. The notice should be visible from all potentially affected streets.
This notice must be displayed for not less than 28 days. The applicant must also advertise their application in a local newspaper circulating in the relevant part of Havant Borough. The newspaper notice must be circulated at least one occasion not more than 10 working days after the giving of the application to Havant Borough Council Licensing Office.
If there are no representations within the 28 days of an accepted application, the licence will be granted.
However, if representation from any of the responsible authorities or any other person in the Havant Borough has been received, the licensing Officers will examine the representation and confirm its relevance. The Officers will then attempt to mediate between the respective parties to attempt to find a reasonable compromise. If this informal process is unsuccessful a hearing before the licensing committee will ensue. All interested parties will be notified and invited to attend the hearing. Following the hearing a decision will be made by the licensing committee and the details of that decision will be circulated to the parties concerned.
The applicant does have a right to appeal and this should be made to the magistrates appropriate to the location of the premises concerned. Professional advice should be sought where it is uncertain what the best course of action should be.