Alcohol and entertainment licensing

You need a licence to:

Any business can apply for a Premises Licence to provide these activities. Private members' clubs can apply for either a Premises Licence or a Club Premises Certificate.

A temporary event notice can also allow these activities.

If you trade illegally without a licence, you risk a fine of any amount and up to six months in prison.

Applying

Before applying for the first time, you should read our licensing policy.

You must consider how your activities will impact upon:

  • crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • public nuisance
  • protecting children from harm

Premises licensed to sell alcohol must name a designated premises supervisor (DPS) who holds a personal licence. Club Premises Certificates do not need a DPS.

Applications must be submitted with a premises plan, a DPS consent form (if required), proof of right to work (applicable to individual applicants only, including those in a partnership which is not a limited liability partnership), and the relevant fee.

As of April 6th 2017, all applications must be submitted with proof that the applicant (or each individual applicant if the application is submitted by a partnership or group of individuals) is eligible to reside and work in the UK. The application form includes notes as to what documents are acceptable. You do not need to supply your original identification documents (such as passports, or driving licences), and only a copy can be submitted.

If the document copied is a passport, a copy of the following pages must be provided:-

  • any page containing the holder’s personal details including nationality;
  • any page containing the holder’s photograph;
  • any page containing the holder’s signature;
  • any page containing the date of expiry; and
  • any page containing information indicating the holder has permission to enter or remain in the UK and is permitted to work.

If the document is not a passport, a copy of the whole document must be provided.

The plan does not need to be professionally drawn, but it must be drawn to a scale of 1:100, be an accurate representation of the premises, and show the following:

  • the boundary of the building
  • external and internal walls and, if different, the perimeter of the premises
  • entrances and exits to the premises
  • escape routes from the building, if these are different
  • if the premises are to be used for more than one licensable activity (eg a cinema and alcohol sales in a separate bar), the area within the premises used for each activity
  • fixed structures (including furniture), or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) which may prevent people using exits or escape routes
  • the location of any stage or raised area, and its height relative to the floor
  • the location of any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts
  • the location of any public conveniences
  • the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment
  • the location of any kitchens

You can apply online for a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate. Applications not submitted online must be copied to the responsible authorities and served on these authorities at the same time as when the application is submitted to the licensing authority.

A public notice must be displayed on your premises for 28 consecutive days advertising your application, starting the day after your application is submitted. The notice must be clearly visible to the public at all times of the day, so you will need to ensure that your notice is not obstructed by shutters or other security features on your premises. The notice must also be printed on pale blue paper.

A copy of this notice must be advertised within a local newspaper within 10 days of the application being submitted.

Failure to submit the correct documentation with your application, to serve copies of your application to the responsible authorities (where the application is not submitted online), or advertise your application correctly, will result in a delay in processing your application while you validate your application, and your application may be rejected outright.

Timescales

The consultation period for a licence application is 28 days. No decision can be made until the consultation period has closed.

Your application will be granted if no objections were made during the consultation period.

If any objections are received, you will be notified of these objections. A hearing will be arranged within 20 working days of the consultation period closing to consider any objections.

Costs

The application fee depends on the rateable value of the premises

Rateable Value

Application Fee

£0 – £4,300

£100

£4,300 – £33,000

£190

£33,001 – £87,000

£315

£87,001 – £125,000

£450 *

£125,001 +

£635 **

* premises primarily or exclusively selling alcohol for consumption on the premises pay £900

** premises primarily or exclusively selling alcohol for consumption on the premises pay £1,905

Appeals

Unsuccessful applicants have a right to appeal to the magistrates' court if the application is refused, or to appeal against any conditions attached to a licence at a hearing. Objectors have a right to appeal against a decision to grant a licence. Any appeals must be submitted to the court in writing within 21 days of being notified of the decision.

How to object or complain

To object to an application, please read our information about objecting to licences.

If you wish to make a complaint against an existing licensed premises, please submit your complaint to licensing@watford.gov.uk.

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