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Published on July 8th, 2011 | by Dean Carr


The licensing act 2003 and your premises licence

licensing act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 became law on 24 November 2005.

The Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) introduced a single license scheme for licensing premises which:

  • Supply alcohol
  • Provide regulated entertainment
  • Provide late night refreshment

About the Act:

  • Key features of the Act
  • General offences
  • Crime and disorder
  • Appeals
  • Reviews

Licensing objectives

Licensing authorities operate according to four licensing objectives, to make sure that licensable activities are carried out in the public interest:

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

Key features of the Act

  • Flexible opening hours for premises
  • Consideration of the impact of opening hours on local residents and businesses.
  • A single premises licence authorising premises for multiple licensing activities
  • Personal licences relating to the supply of alcohol premises licences issued by licensing authorities after notification and scrutiny of all applications by the police and other authorities
  • Local residents and businesses have the right to make representations about applications
  • Personal licences issued by licensing authorities after scrutiny by the police, where the applicant has been convicted of certain offences

General offences

Part 7 of the Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”) outlines many of the general offences contained within the legislation, and is split into six distinct areas:

  • Unauthorised licensable activities
  • Drunkenness and disorderly conduct on licensed premises
  • Smuggled goods
  • Children and alcohol
  • Vehicles and trains
  • False statements

Crime and disorder

The Act also has an important role in the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance, while giving people more freedom and choice in their leisure time.


The Act allows licence applicants to appeal against licensing authority decisions and allows anyone who has made a relevant representation to an application to appeal against decision.

For example a landlord could appeal against conditions attached to a licence, while a local resident or interested party who had made a relevant representation could appeal against the licence being granted at all.


Interested parties including local residents can also request a review of a particular premises licence, when problems occur which are related to the licensing objectives. Following the review the licensing authority can consider a range of responses such as suspending or revoking the licences, excluding certain licensable activities or changing conditions attached to a licence. However, it can only take these actions where they are necessary to address the problem and promote one or more of the four licensing objectives.

The full version of the act can be found here : The Licensing Act 2003

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188


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