House of Commons Library

Alcohol: objecting to a licence

Published Friday, July 6, 2018

This Library Briefing Paper looks at the Licensing Act 2003 and how to object to a premises licence.

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Under the Licensing Act 2003, a premises licence is required for the sale or supply of alcohol. 

Premises licences are issued by the licensing authority in which the premises are situated or, in the case of premises straddling an area boundary, the licensing authority where the greater part of the premises is situated.

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 one of the licensing objectives:

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

The key document on which local authorities rely, in their role as licensing authorities, is Home Office guidance (revised April 2018) issued under section 182 of the 2003 Act.

This Paper refers to the law in England and Wales.

Commons Briefing papers SN03788

Author: John Woodhouse

Topic: Licensing

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