Premises licence

Business and Planning Act 2020

The above Act has given premises that currently have a licence to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, automatic authorisation for sales off the premises. These off-sales may only occur at a time that the premises is currently authorised for on-sales up until 23:00hrs . For more information please see government guidance.

A summary of the changes made by the above act:

  • off sales will be allowed when the premises is open for on sales until 23:00
  • any condition on the licence that would prevent off-sales being made at a time when the premises are open for the purposes of selling alcohol for consumption on the premises (subject to a cut off time of 11pm or the closure time of an existing outdoor area, whichever is earlier) is suspended
  • off sales can be allowed in an open container
  • deliveries can be made to a residential or business address
  • club certificates are not included
  • local authority should be notified if premises are going to use this provision and notice should be on display at the premises (section 172F(5) template available below)
  • police have a summary off sales review process if required

If your premises will be utilising the automatic authorisation for alcohol off-sales, you must complete a Section 172F(5) Notice. A copy of this notice needs to be kept somewhere securely on-site as well as a copy displayed alongside the summary of your premises licence.

Applying for a premises licence

Complete a Premises Licence application form or Club Premises Certificate application form if you want to sell or supply alcohol from a premises on a permanent basis – for a one-off event you will need a Temporary Event Notice.

Read our Policy Statement  and our Cumulative Impact Assessment to help you make your application. You will need to ensure that your application is sent to all the responsible authorities.

You will also have to display a blue notice on your premises and advertise your application in a newspaper that circulates in Reading within ten days of your application being accepted by us.

Gov.uk gives guidance on activities that are deregulated and may not need a licence.

If you are applying for a new premises licence and your business sells food, drinks or both you may need to register as a food business.

Immigration Act

As of 6 April 2017, applicants for a premises licence, transferring of a licence or a personal licence will have to prove that they are eligible to live and work in the UK. Please see our guidance notes for more details and a full list of acceptable documents. Please note, if you do not provide this proof, we will not process or issue you a licence.

You will also be responsible for ensuring that anyone employed in their premises are entitled to live and work in the UK. If it is found that a licensed premises is employing illegal workers, your licence is likely to be reviewed with the recommendation that it is revoked.

Please also note that if you are issued a licence and you then lose your entitlement to live and work in the UK, your licence will lapse.

From 28th January 2019, individuals or partnerships who are applying for the grant of a premises licence; a transfer of a premises licence; an interim authority notice or the grant of a personal licence, can demonstrate that they have a right to work in the UK by using the Online Right to Work Checking Service provided by the Home Office. If you use this service to demonstrate your right to work, then you must include your 9 digit ‘share code’ within your application so that we can access the information. If you don’t then we cannot accept your application. By giving us your share code, you authorise us to view the data and use it to verify your right to work status within the UK.

Prove your right to work

Due to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on 31 January 2021, from 1 July 2021 the list of acceptable documents to prove that an individual or partnership are eligible to live and work in the UK has been updated. Please follow the guidance notes for more information.

Substantial changes

If you want to make substantial changes you should complete an application to vary a Premises Licence or an application to vary a Club Premises Certificate.

Substantial changes follow the same process and have the same fees as an initial application.

Minor changes

If you want to make minor changes to your licence, you must complete an application for a minor variation to a premises or club licence. You will also have to display a white notice on the premises.

We will take any advice and objections into account when we make our decision. If we refuse your application for minor changes you can apply for a full variation.

Pre-application consultation service

We now offer a consultation service for customers who want to apply for a premises licence for the first time or who may wish to vary their existing premises licence.

We offer two services:

  1. Pre-application (application form and documents only) for £98 – we will give application advice and ensure all the steps necessary for the application are completed
  2. Pre-application and visit (application form, documents and 1 hour visit) for £157 – the above service along with a one hour visit/inspection. If you think the site visit will be longer than one hour a further £98 per hour will be payable.

Please complete a pre-application form if you want to take advantage of this process. You can upload the form and make your payment on Gov.uk. We will contact you within 14 days to arrange an appointment. We will not process your form until payment has been made. Pre-application advice is subject to the terms and conditions stated on the form.

Transferring existing premises licence

You must complete an application to transfer a premises licence and a premises transfer consent form.

You will need to ensure that your transfer application is sent to us, Thames Valley Police and Immigration Enforcement. Details of responsible authorities.

Fee: £23

The consent form must be signed by the holder(s) of the licence. If you are unable to get the signed consent of any holder you must state in your application what steps you have taken to get it, and provide documentary evidence of those steps. We will then make a decision as to whether the licence can be transferred.

Annual premises licence fee

Once a licence has been granted you will have to make sure your annual fee is paid by the anniversary of the date the licence was granted. An invoice will usually be sent out, but it is up to the licence holder to ensure the fee has been paid on time. You can renew and pay on gov.uk – please make sure you let us know which premises the fee is for.

Charges

Band Rateable value from Rateable value to Application fee Annual fee
A £0 £4,300 £100 £70
B £4,301 £33,000 £190 £180
C £33,001 £87,000 £315 £295
D £87,001 £125,000 £450 £320
D If mostly used for selling alcohol 2x charge applied   £900 £640
E £125,000   £635 £350
E If mostly used for selling alcohol 3x charge applied   £1,905 £1,050

Additional fees apply for events over 5,000 people – contact us for advice.

Door Safe Log Book

You may need to employ door supervisors as a condition of your premises licence. We can provide you with a door supervisor book. If you need a hard copy of the book then you can request one at the Civic Offices and make a payment of £15.

Additional pages of door supervisor book

Safety Advisory Group

We hold a monthly meeting wherein event organisers have an opportunity to meet and discuss their plans with council departments, as well as various organisations, including the police, fire and ambulance services. These meetings facilitate information sharing and allow the various organisations to gain a better understanding of what an event will entail and at the same time provide expert advice for event organisers to incorporate into their event plans to assist in improving all elements, for example, food safety, traffic management, event security, first aid, responsible alcohol provision etc, that go towards making a safe, enjoyable event in our town. If you are planning on holding an event, please contact licensing@reading.gov.uk to speak to us about attending a Safety Advisory Group meeting.