Licensing Act Consultation “Overwhelmingly Positive” says Sector Leaders

The government has launched a consultation to consider making permanent the alcohol licensing provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020 or whether to return to the provisions in the Licensing Act 2003.

The Licensing Act 2003 allows premises licence holders to sell alcohol for consumption on-site or for consumption off-site or both, however, in response to the pandemic, the Business and Planning Act 2020 provided regulatory easements which enabled holders of licences that only allow sales for consumption on-site to automatically additionally do sales for consumption off-site, without any need to amend their licence.

The Licensing Act 2003 also allows licensable activities to be carried out on a one-off basis without the need for a premises licence or any other authorisation, by means of a temporary event notice. 

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The proposals from the Home Office to make permanent a number of temporary measures introduced during the pandemic are overwhelmingly positive and we strongly urge the Government to do so.

“Extending on-sale licences to automatically include off-sales and expanding the Temporary Events Notices allowance are both measures UKHospitality has been asking the Government to make permanent and will allow venues to continue reaping the benefit from these expanded trading opportunities.

“Taking advantage of these simple, practical changes shows that the Government understands the pressures the sector is under and, as with the extension to licensing hours for the King’s Coronation, wants to give operators the opportunity to boost revenue wherever possible.

“Reducing the burden of excessive and costly red tape is a priority for UKHospitality and I hope these proposals mark only the start of that process. The sector hopes to continue to work with Government on eliminating other unnecessary and prohibitive regulations, such as mandatory newspaper advertising for licence applications and the late-night levy.”

The consultation, which can be viewed here, will run for 8 weeks and is aimed at the hospitality sector, local licensing authorities, the police, licensed premises, members of the public and other interested parties in England and Wales where these proposals apply.