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Relaxation of Licensing Hours

The Royal Wedding and this summer’s World Cup tournament has put licensing hours once again under the spotlight. Robert Botkai offers advice on extending your licensing hours.

A premises licence is required to authorise the following activities:
• selling alcohol;
•serving alcohol to members of a private club;
•providing entertainment, such as music, dancing or indoor sporting events; and
•serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am.
The licence prescribes the times during which the activity may take place and conditions that must be adhered to.
There are two ways under the Licensing Act 2003 to extend premises’ licensed hours: through a national relaxation or premises using Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

The Royal Wedding

Following a public consultation, the Government has announced that the Royal Wedding taking place on Saturday 19 May is an event of national significance and that it wishes for everyone to be able to celebrate fully. It noted that the FA Cup Final will be taking place on the same day.
Premises licensed to sell alcohol up to or after 11pm will be permitted to extend their sales for an additional 2 hours until 1am the following morning on each of 18 May and 19 May 2018, without having to submit a Temporary Events Notice or TEN.

Premises licensed to 11pm will also be able to extend their hours for the following:

•The provision of regulated entertainment; and
•Late night refreshment where the premises can also be used for the sale of alcohol on the premises.

These hours will not apply to off-licensed premises such as supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations.
TENS

A TEN permits licensable activities which are not authorised by a premises licence to be carried out on a temporary basis. This can be for an event such as a wedding party or a school fete.

The process is one of service of a notice rather than the making of an application.

A TEN is served on the relevant licensing authority, with a copy to the Police and the Environment Health officers at least 10 working days before the event. If the TEN is submitted online, the licensing authority will contact the Police and the Environmental Health on your behalf.

A fee of £21 is payable for each TEN.

The Police and Environmental Health officers have three working days to object after they received the TEN. They can object on the basis of any of the four licensing objectives:
•Prevention of crime and disorder
•Prevention of public nuisance
•Public Safety
•Protection of children from harm.

If one or both of the officers object, the licensing authority must consider the objections at a hearing unless all parties agree that a hearing is unnecessary.

Where there is an objection from the Police or Environmental Health, the licensing authority can impose conditions to a temporary event notice from the existing conditions on the premise licence.

Limitations

The following limitations apply:

•A TEN must be in the name of an individual.
•Personal licence holders can give up to 50 temporary event notices in a calendar year. Non personal licence holders are limited to five temporary event notices in a calendar year.
•A TEN may be given for particular premises no more than 15 times in a calendar year.
•The maximum duration of the event authorised by a TEN is seven days.
•The minimum period between events authorised under separate TENS in relation to the same premises by the same premises user is 24 hours.
•The maximum total duration of the events authorised by TENS in relation to individual premises is 21 days in a calendar year.
•The maximum number of people who can attend the event is 499.

“Late” Temporary Event Notices

The 10-day notice period presented problems for some urgent events and so a new process for late TENS has been introduced. This allows for “late” notices by giving between five and nine working days’ notice. Personal licence holders can give up to 10 late TENS each year. Non-personal licence holders are limited to two late TENS each year.

It is inadvisable to rely on late TENS as they are automatically rejected by the licensing authority if the Police or Environmental Health makes an objection.

Conclusion

The rules governing TENS is far too complex. For example, the 24 hour break between TENS may be appropriate for licensing festivals but is disruptive to trade when applied to premises that may be become unexpectedly unlicensed.

Nevertheless, TENS are a useful device to license premises for occasional or special events and to license premises that have unexpectedly become delicensed (eg insolvency of the licence holder) and are usually quick and inexpensive. Operators should be looking at summer events such as the World Cup and planning the submission of TENS to maximise trade.

Robert Botkai is a Partner and head of Commercial Real Estate and Licensing at Winckworth Sherwood. He can be reached by email: rbotkai@wslaw.co.uk. Visit www.wslaw.co.uk

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