Alcohol licensing in England and Wales

The Licensing Act 2003 (as amended) applies to the sale of alcohol in England and Wales. The Act has four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder.
  • public safety.
  • the prevention of public nuisance.
  • the protection of children from harm.

GOV.UK gives a summary of how the licensing framework operates.

Under the 2003 Act, a premises licence is usually required for the sale of alcohol. These are issued by the licensing authority in which a premises is situated.

Objecting to a licence

Objections can be raised against an application for a new licence or a variation of an existing licence. It is also possible to trigger a review of an existing licence.

The term used in the 2003 Act, regulations, and associated guidance is not “objections” but “representations”. All representations must be relevant to at least one of the licensing objectives.

Home Office statutory guidance for licensing authorities(PDF)(December 2023) gives information on premises licences and how objections can be made – see:

  • applications for premises licences (chapter 8).
  • determining applications (chapter 9).
  • reviews (chapter 11).
  • appeals (chapter 13).

Alcohol licensing in Scotland

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (as amended) is the main piece of legislation controlling the sale of alcohol in Scotland. The Act has five licensing objectives:

  • preventing crime and disorder.
  • securing public safety.
  • preventing public nuisance.
  • protecting and improving public health.
  • protecting children and young persons from harm.

The Scottish Government website gives information on Scottish licensing law

Under the 2005 Act, a premises licence is usually needed for the sale of alcohol. These are issued by the licensing board in which a premises is situated.

Objecting to a licence

Chapter 8 of the Scottish Government’s guidance for licensing boards (PDF)(January 2023) gives detailed information on premises licences and how objections can be raised.

 


Related posts

  • NHS key statistics: England

    Summary of NHS demand, performance, backlogs, and capacity of services in England. It covers A&E waiting times, hospital waiting lists, cancer waiting times, ambulance response times, staffing levels including doctors and nurses, vacancies, and more.

    NHS key statistics: England
  • Bicentenary of the RNLI

    A Westminster Hall debate on the bicentenary of the RNLI has been scheduled for 26 March 2024 at 9.30am. The debate will be led by Anthony Mangnall MP.

    Bicentenary of the RNLI