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Dudley Council
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Approved Premises for Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships - part 3

Applications will only be considered on the Council’s official application form which is attached (pages 10, 11 and 12). When completed it should be returned to:

Licensing Officer, Legal and Democratic Services, 5 Ednam Road, Dudley, DY1 1HL

The application should be made by the person who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the conditions and instructions set out in these documents. When made on behalf of a limited company there should be a separate statement of the names and addresses of all the directors.

The completed application form must be accompanied by:

  1. 3 copies of plans of the buildings identifying the rooms to be approved for ceremonies and the pre ceremony interview room.

  2. a cheque for £1,000.00 made payable to Dudley MBC to cover the cost of the licence administration, including inspection and public advertisement. This is non-refundable.

  3. A cheque for £700.00 made payable to Dudley MBC to cover the licence fee including the cost of re-inspections (returnable if the licence is not approved). If more than 2 rooms are to be covered by the licence for ceremonies an additional fee of £75 per room is payable.

Who will be consulted?

The premises will be inspected by the Superintendent Registrar and officers from the Council eg. Planning and Environmental Health. West Midlands Fire Service will be consulted and, depending upon their report, further inspections may be made to ensure that the premises are suitable and comply with all their necessary requirements. Our target is to carry out these inspections within 28 days of receipt of the application.

During these consultations, the Council will publicise the application in a local newspaper to ascertain whether there are any local objections. The application and plan will be lodged for inspection at Legal and Democratic Services, 5 Ednam Road, Dudley. There will be 21 days from publication for objections and objectors will have to submit written reasons. The building must also display a notice stating that the applicant has applied for a licence in respect of it.

Issuing the Licence

Subject to there being no unresolved objections, the Council will issue a licence in respect of the approved building.

What if the Licence is not approved?

If, following the inspection or as a result of any objections, the Licence is not approved, the Licence applicant may appeal in writing to the Council, through the Licensing Officer.

Appeals against a refusal to approve a building, or against a condition imposed as part of an approval, will be determined by the Licensing Committee. The decision of this Member Appeal panel is final.

There will be an additional fee for an application to review a decision to:

1. Refuse to grant an approval

2. Attach additional conditions

3. Refuse to renew an approval

Length of licence and approval

A licence will normally run for three years from the date of issue. Licence Holders may apply for a new licence from twelve months of the expiry date. An application for renewal made in this period will extend the current approval until the application has been dealt with. A renewal will run from the expiry date of the current approval. A reminder that the licence is due to expire will be sent six months before it is due to expire.

What does the licence apply to?

The standard licence will apply to a maximum of two rooms in the Approved Premises.

If an applicant wishes to apply for more than two ceremony rooms to be licensed in an Approved Premises, an additional fee will be payable.

Changes to the Licence

The Licence Holder will be responsible for informing the Superintendent Registrar and the Licensing Department of any change which will affect the Licence. These include:

  1. Change of use of Approved Premises;
  2. Change of name of Approved Premises;
  3. Change of Licence Holder;
  4. Any material change to the licensed rooms or environment.

Any change affecting the Licence will be treated by the council as a re-application.

Revocation of a Licence

The Council may revoke an approval if:

a) After considering any representations from the Licence Holder that use or structure of the premises has changed, decide that any of the requirements cannot be met.

b) The Licence Holder ignores or abuses the conditions attached to the Licence.

c) The Registrar General directs the Council to revoke an approval if, in his opinion and after considering any representations from the Licence Holder, there have been breaches of the law relating to marriage or civil partnership registrations on approved premises. This is not subject to review by the Council.

Normally six months notice of intention to revoke a Licence will be given but this may be waived or reduced at the discretion of the Council. There will be no refund of any part of the Licence fee if the Licence is revoked.

Upon revocation, responsibility lies with the former Licence Holder to notify all parties who had arranged to marry or register a civil partnership in the premises.

Termination of a Licence

Unless it is renewed a Licence will be terminated at the end of its 3 years life. A Licence Holder may terminate a Licence by giving the Council not less than 4 months notice in writing. There will be no refund of part of the Licence fee in these circumstances.

Upon termination responsibility lies with the former Licence Holder to notify all parties who had arranged to marry or register a civil partnership in the premises. Under no circumstances can marriages or civil partnership registrations take place in a building where a Licence has expired or been revoked.