Published on January 28th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Applications for an occasional licence in Scotland
In Scotland an occasional licence made on behalf of a registered charity does not require a personal licence holder to oversee the sale of alcohol from the event. However the application for the occasional licence must be made in the name of the charitable organisation e.g. Oxfam. You are also required by law to name a designated person on the application form to be the responsible person for the event. Ideally that person should be present at the event to oversee the sales of alcohol are made responsibly. An application for a Scottish occasional licence must be made 6 weeks prior to the event taking place. The cost of the application is currently £10. Notification of the application must also be made to the chief constable for the area in which the event is to take place. A copy must also be sent to the licensing standards officer at the relevant licensing board. For further information please see Scottish Licensing Act (2005) Part 4 Section 56
An occasional licence is issued by a Scottish Licensing Board to any premises (other than licensed premises). The application for an occassional licence is made to the Licensing Board where the event is to be held. Please click the link for details on Scottish Licensing Boards throughout Scotland.
Other than a registered Charity other persons who may apply for an occasional licence include the following:
- The holder of a premises licence
- The holder of a personal licence
- A representative of any voluntary organisation
How many occational licences may be applyed for in Scotland is as follows;
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON HOW OFTEN YOU CAN APPLY FOR AN OCCASIONAL LICENCE?
Yes, if you are a Voluntary Organisation or a Qualifing Club with a Premises Licence the following restrictions apply:-
In any period of 12 months;
- not more than 4 Occasional Licences each having effect for a period of 4 days or more; and
- not more than 12 Occasional Licences each having effect for a period of less than 4 days,
provided that, in any period of 12 months, the total number of days on which Occasional Licences are issued does not exceed 56.
There are no restrictions on the number of Occasional Licences which can be applied for by the holder of a Premises Licence or the holder of a Personal Licence.
HOW IS THE APPLICATION PROCESSED?
It is not possible to explain all procedure in this Guidance Note, however, once an Occasional Licence Application is received both the Chief Constable and the Licensing Standards Officer are notified and given a copy of the application. Both have 21 days in which they may respond to the Board. Details of the application are also published on the Board’s website for a period of 7 days.
Any person may submit to the Board an objection or representation in relation to the application within that 7 days.
WILL YOU HAVE TO ATTEND A HEARING?
A hearing may take place where the Board receives an objection or representation in relation to the application or a notice from the Chief Constable recommending refusal. If not, the application can be delegated to the Clerk to a Scottish Licensing Board. Any notice from the Chief Constable, report from the Licensing Standards Officer, or objection or representation will be copied to you the applicate.
WHAT DECISION MAKING POWERS DOES THE LICENSING BOARD HAVE?
The Board may grant or refuse the application. In granting an application the Board must impose certain mandatory conditions. We would recommend that you read those mandatory conditions before applying for an Occasional Licence. Those mandatory conditions are normally available on line at the relevant licensing Boards website. Alternatively, You can request a copy on by contacting the Licensing B0ard you made the appilcation to.
The Board also has the power to impose further conditions (local conditions) as they consider necessary or expedient for the purposes of any of the licensing objectives.
It is the responsibility of the person who is granted the Occasional Licence to comply with the terms of the Licence, the mandatory conditions and any local conditions imposed.
The outcome of the Board’s decision on an Occasional Licence Application is notified to the applicant, the Chief Constable, the Licensing Standards Officer and any person submitting an objection or representation within 7 days of the decision being taken. That decision can be appealed.
DOES THE BOARD HAVE ANY POLICY IN RELATION TO OCCASIONAL LICENCES?
Yes. All Licensing Boards have a Policy Statement which, amongst other matters, sets out its policy on Occasional Licences. That includes what hours and activities may be considered acceptable for consumption of alcohol on the premises. For the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises the maximum hours permissible in law are 10.00 am to 10.00 pm, 7 days per week.
Please note that the reference in the Policy Statement to submitting an application no later than 28 days before the event is due to take place has now been superseded. As above, you should provide at least 7 weeks advance notice.
The Policy Statement is published on the Licensing Board’s website Alternatively, please contact the relevent Licensing Board to request a copy.
Although Qualifying Clubs have a Premises Licence, an Occasional Licence can still be applied for to permit general public entry subject to the restrictions mentioned earlier on the number of Occasional Licences which may be granted in any 12 month period.
In addition, during the period when an Occasional Licence has effect in respect of a club premises, the conditions of the Club’s Premises Licence do not apply.
WILL THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR OCCASIONAL LICENCES REMAIN THE SAME?
No. It is expected that there will be changes to Occasional Licences once the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill becomes an Act (Statute). This Guidance Note will be updated.
For further information on occasional licences in Scottland contact the relevent Licensing Board