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Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening to Licensing Law?

The Licensing Act 2003 represents the biggest change to the licensed trade in more than 40 years. The whole system of licensing changed from 7th February 2005 and will significantly affect how you obtain the licences that you need to trade.

Why is the Law changing?

The law has been changed to modernise licensing legislation and provides greater freedom for the leisure and hospitality industry and their users. The freedom has been balanced by giving more responsibility to industry and providing tougher powers for Police, Courts and Local Authorities to enforce.

Is the new system similar to before?

No! The Licensing Act 2003 replaces six existing licensing regimes (Alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses and night cafes).These will be replaced with a single integrated scheme for the licensing premises. It also transfers the responsibility of issuing liquor licences from the Magistrates Court to Local Authorities.

How will the changes in the law affect me?

You will need to be aware of the changes to the Licensing Laws if you hold or operated a business in relation to any of the following licensable activities:

  • The sale by retail of alcohol
  • The supply of alcohol by clubs
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late night refreshment from a premises or vehicle supply hot food or hot drinks between 11.00pm and 5.00am.
  • The Licensing Authority (Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council) will deal with all licensing for this borough that is currently undertaken by the local Magistrates Court.

When will the changes take place?

7th February 2005 is the First Appointed Day (FAD). From this date the council can begin processing licensing applications, conversions to premises licences and club premises certificates. The Second Appointed Day (SAD) is currently unconfirmed but is likely to be in November 2005. This sees the end of old licensing regimes and transfers the responsibility for issuing licences from the Magistrates Court to Local Authorities.

From that date the following licences will be required and issued by the Local Authority:

  • Personal Licence
  • Premises Licence
  • Club Premises Certificate
  • Temporary Event Notices

Who needs to hold a personal licence?

Any person involved in supplying alcohol or authorising the supply of alcohol from establishments that hold a premises licence authorising the supply of alcohol (except Private Members Clubs) will need to hold a personal licence. This licence is valid indefinitely. It is portable and issued by the Borough in which the applicant lives at the time of application.

Licences will not be issued where a person has an unspent conviction for relevant offences, such as violence, drugs, etc. and/or where they do not possess an acceptable qualification or level of experience.

When is a premise licence required?

 A premises licence will be required for any premises that will be used for the:

  • Sale of alcohol
  • Provision of regulated entertainment
  • Provision of hot food or hot drinks from a premises or vehicle between 11.00pm and 5.00am

This will include pubs, leisure facilities, restaurants, nightclubs, community centres and late night takeaways to name but a few.

What licences will I need to hold occasional events?

A. Organisers of small-scale ad-hoc events for activities that are for a period not exceeding 168 hours and involving no more than 499 people, can submit a temporary event notice (TEN) to the Licensing Authority. If no objection is made, the event may go ahead. Larger events (i.e. over 499 attendees) will require a premise licence.

Where the licensable activities include the supply of alcohol, the notice must contain a condition that all such supplies of alcohol are made by, or under the authority of the ‘premises user’, i.e. the individual who submitted the temporary event notice.

What if I already hold a licence and want to change my Licensed hours?

You will need to apply for a Variation to the Licensed hours. Details of how to apply for a Variation to Licensed hours.

What is regulated entertainment?

 Regulated entertainment includes performance of a play, exhibition of a film, an indoor sporting event, boxing or wrestling entertainment, performance of live music, any playing of recorded music, performance of a dance or any entertainment of a similar description. Any such entertainment must take place in the presence of an audience to be classed as regulated entertainment.

Are there any exemptions to this?

Exempted activities include religious meetings or services, vehicles in motion, non profitable private events, music that is incidental to certain other activities, museum/art gallery film exhibitions and film exhibitions for educational or advertisement purposes.

What can I do now?

To confirm with the Licensing Act 2003, the Council has now prepared and produced a Licensing Policy. The content of the policy sets out how we will carry out our licensing functions and promote the four licensing objectives, which are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder

  • Public safety

  • The prevention of public nuisance

  • The protection of children from harm

The content of the policy will have a direct effect on any potential applicants or persons affected by licensed premises. The Council is under an obligation to ensure that all relevant parties are widely consulted on the content of the policy.

What if I want to object to a licence?

An objection to a licence can be made to the Licensing Office.

Contact Details

  • Name: Licensing Team
  • Address: Unit 1, Hurst Business Park, Narrowboat Way, Brierley Hill, DY5 1UF
  • Telephone:01384 815489 or 815377 Renewals 01384 815050
  • Opening Hours:Office is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm daily. Applicants are seen by appointment only.