Alcohol and entertainment licensing

Minor variations

Licence holders have a right to apply to vary their existing licence. There are two types of variation applications - minor variations, and full variations.

The minor variations process is designed for licence holders (including members' clubs) to make small changes to their licences which should not impact upon one of more of the licensing objectives, which are: the prevention of crime and disorder; the prevention of public nuisance; public safety; and the protection of the children from harm.

The government advises that minor variations will generally fall into four categories:

  1. minor changes to the structure or layout of premises
  2. small adjustments to licensing hours (but not including adjustments to the hours for the sale of alcohol);
  3. the removal of out of date, irrelevant or unenforceable conditions, or the addition of volunteered conditions; and
  4. the addition of certain licensable activities (but not the sale of alcohol).

In all cases the overall test is whether the proposed variation could impact on any of the four licensing objectives.

Any changes to a licence which are not suitable for a minor variation may be sought by applying for a full variation.

Applying

Minor variations must be submitted with a completed application form, the proposed plan of the premises (where the variation is to the structure or layout of the premises), and the relevant fee. Any plans must meet the standards for plans which are submitted with new applications.

You can apply online for a minor variation to a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate.

A public notice must be displayed on your premises for 10 consecutive working 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 white paper.

Unlike new licence applications or variation applications, there is no need to advertise a minor variation in a local newspaper, and there is no requirement to serve copies of the application on the responsible authorities.

Failure to submit the correct documentation with your application, or to advertise your application, 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 minor variation is 10 working days. No decision can be made until the consultation period has closed.

During this time, the licensing authority may consult one or more of the responsible authorities.

If you do not hear from the licensing authority within 15 working days from the submission of a minor variation, the application will be treated as having been refused.

Costs

The minor variation fee is £89.

Appeals

There is no right of appeal against the decision of the licensing authority to either refuse or grant a minor variation.

How to object

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

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