Please find below some important and urgent information in relation to the effect of Coronavirus and how it is impacting on the delivery of the Licensing Service. These temporary changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus and to keep our staff and our customers safe. Please be assured that we are working to deliver our services.
Our priority is to ensure that licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible. We will continue to monitor this difficult situation and this webpage will be kept up to date with all changes, including when normal service will resume.
How COVID-19 is affecting our service
Staffing and Telephones
The service is experiencing reduced staffing levels with officers working from home as advised by the Government. This will unfortunately impact on the services we can offer. It is easier for us to manage the high demand for our services if queries are submitted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can also contact the team on the usual telephone number (0191) 643 2175. From Monday 30th March 2020 there will be no access to the Licensing Office for any purposes.
Transfer your premises licence
You may need to transfer an existing premises licence*.
*Example: If a business which has a premises licence is sold, the new owners can apply to have the licence transferred into their name, if they have the consent of the existing licence holder.
Changes to your premises / existing licence
Tell us about changes to your premises / existing licence:
Designated Premises Supervisor
A Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is the person who has overall day to day responsibility for a premises and supervises all sales of alcohol.
The DPS should be present at the premises for the majority of the time they are open. Only one DPS can be nominated. If that person leaves your employment you cannot continue to sell alcohol until another personal licence holder has been nominated as a DPS.
You must apply to us immediately to replace them as DPS on the premises licence. We recommend that more than one person connected with a premises holds a personal licence.
How to make a representation
Residents and businesses (or their representatives) can make relevant representations about any application for new licences or for variations to current licences.
Application fees vary depending on the National Non-Domestic Rates.
You can apply for a premises licence if you are:
- anyone who conducts business in the premises
- a recognised club
- a charity
- a health service body
- a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital
- a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales
- anyone discharging a statutory or function under Her Majesty's prerogative
- a person from an educational institute
- any other permitted person
- 18 years or over
You must send your application in a specific format and include:
- any fee payable
- an operating schedule
- a plan of the premises (which must be clear and legible)
- a form of consent from the premises supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity)
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
- the period the licence is required for (for limited licences)
- information about the premises supervisor
- whether any alcohol sold will be consumed on or off the premises
- steps to promote the licensing objectives
- any other required information
You must advertise the application by
- displaying a notice at the premises
- advertising it in a newspaper which circulates in the area of the premises (within 10 working days of making the application)
If you are applying as an individual or a partnership (not a limited liability partnership) a photocopy or scanned copy of your UK passport is required. This needs to be the page in the passport which contains the start and expiry dates and contains a copy of your photograph. If you do not hold a UK passport (current or expired) please contact us.
We will advise you on what documents are required to prove you have a right to live and work in the UK. This is a requirement where sale or supply of alcohol or late night refreshment is one of the licensable activities listed on the application form.
Unless the application is made electronically you must send a copy of the application form, DPS consent, plan and where applicable copy of passport to the responsible authorities on the same day you send your application to the council.
If no representations are received we must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing must be held if any representations are made. 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.
We will serve a notice of our decision on:
- the applicant
- any person who has made relevant representations (representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious)
- chief of police
Other applications that can be made are applications for an interim authority notice following the death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder or review applications as well as transfer of licences and changes to the designated premise supervisor.
Will tacit consent apply?
Yes. You can act as though your licence has been granted If you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion period (28 calendar days).
This does not apply to minor variation applications or when your licensing application is considered by the Licensing Sub-Committee at hearing. We aim to acknowledge your application within 5 working days of receipt. Please contact us if you have not received acknowledgement within 10 working days.
Failed or refused applications
Contact us in the first instance.
If your licence is refused you can appeal to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
Licence holder redress
Contact us in the first instance.
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
You must appeal to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.