A Premises Licence is a permanent licence, granted in respect of a specific location, that authorises the licence-holder to carry on a combination of the following licensable activities.

  • the sale by retail of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by a club to club members and guests;
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (including plays, films, indoor sports, music and dancing);
  • the provision of entertainment facilities; and
  • the sale of late night refreshment (hot food or drink supplied between 11pm and 5am).

Premises Licences can also be used for one-off events at which more than 500 people are expected to attend. For smaller one-off events, a Apply for a temporary event notice may be more appropriate.

1. Application process

An applicant will always be required to give notice of their application to one or more 'responsible authorities' (statutory bodies including the Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and Trading Standards). For applications for new licences or variations of existing licences, applicants will also be required to advertise the application, both at the premises and in a local newspaper, to alert local residents and businesses.

From when an application is made for a new licence, or to vary or review an existing licence, there is a 28-day period during which any representations in respect of the application may be made. Representations may support or oppose the application.

The licensing authority will usually be able to confirm whether an application has been granted shortly after the end of this period. However, in situations where an objection has been made, the application will usually be referred to a Sub-Committee hearing to be decided.

Any licence granted may be subject to a number of conditions, including:

  • mandatory conditions, which are set out within the legislation, and apply if the licence allows the supply of alcohol or exhibition of films, or if security staff are employed at the premises
  • conditions consistent with any special measures set out in the application form
  • any further conditions imposed by the Sub-Committee following a hearing.

Public register

We are required to maintain a public register giving details of the Premises Licences that we have issued. These details can be viewed at our offices at Blue Star House, during office hours - 9am to 5pm.


Premises license application fees are dependent upon the non-domestic rateable value of the premises. This value, which is also used to calculate business rates, can be found through the VOA search engine. Premises that do not have a rateable value (such as schools, church halls, open spaces or residential properties) automatically fall into the lowest fee band.

3. Designated premises supervisor

Every Premises Licence that allows the supply of alcohol is required to specify an individual as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). The DPS must hold a Apply for a licence to sell alcohol, and will usually be the person in day-to-day control of the premises, who authorises other members of staff to sell alcohol.

If the individual specified as the DPS ceases to work at the premises, it will be necessary for the holder of the Premises Licence to apply to specify a new individual. Alcohol cannot be sold from the premises if there is no DPS listed on the licence.

Certain 'community premises' are now able to apply to remove the requirement to specify a DPS on their licence. The premises must satisfy several conditions in order to remove the requirement, and an application must be granted before the change can be made. Please contact us for further details, or to discuss whether a particular premises is likely to be eligible to remove this requirement.

4. Making changes to the licence

As time goes by, it is possible that the licensed business may need to make changes to the licence to reflect its current circumstances.

Applications can be made to vary the licence for any of the following matters:

  • changing the layout of the licensed premises,
  • providing further licensable activities at the premises,
  • increasing the times during which licensable activities can be provided,
  • adding, changing or removing conditions imposed upon the licence.

Smaller changes that will not have an adverse impact upon the licensing objectives may be made using a minor variation application.

Larger changes that may have an adverse effect upon the licensing objectives must be made using a full variation application. This must also be used if you wish to increase the hours during which alcohol can be sold, or make substantial changes to the premises.

If the changes are exceptionally substantial, and will completely change the nature of the business, we may instead ask you to apply for a new licence.

Change of ownership

If the business is sold to a new owner, an application can be made to transfer the licence to that person. The previous owner will usually be required to provide a signed form showing that they consent to the transfer of their licence.

Where the business changes hands following the death or insolvency of the previous owner, the transfer application must be made within 28 days, to prevent the licence from lapsing. Alternatively, an interim authority notice can be submitted within the initial 28-day period, which allows a further 3 months for a buyer for the business to be found.

5. Provisional statements

Provisional Statements are effectively a provisional licence, allowing an operator to assess the likelihood of obtaining a full licence before committing to the costs of developing a site. They can be obtained in situations where the premises have not yet been constructed, extended or altered for use for licensable activities.

Provisional statements do not in their own right allow licensable activities to be carried on - however, if a statement has been granted, the licensing authority is obliged to disregard any representations received against a subsequent Premises Licence application, as long as the details of the application are substantially the same as when the statement application was made.

6. Contact us

5th floor, Blue Star House
234-244 Stockwell Road
Telephone: 020 7926 6108
Email: licensing@lambeth.gov.uk