What is a Licensing Policy?

Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 requires local authorities to publish a statement of its licensing policy at least every 5 years. This policy must be kept under review and can be updated at any time. These policies are arrived at after consultation with the police, fire authority and other bodies including representatives of local businesses and residents.

Each and every local authority will publish its own Statement of Licensing Policy and although they tend to be similar in scope, they all vary, and each one is unique. Statements tend to set out a local authority’s general approach to making licensing decisions, but they must be consistent with the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing Objectives.

What do Statements of Licensing Policy set out?

Any designated Special Policy or Cumulative impact zones within a local authority

These are areas where the local authority has concluded that the area is saturated with licensed premises and that barriers to the grant of a new license are justified. It is crucial that you know whether or not your premises is located within one of these zones as it will affect the approach that is required.

‘Core’ or ‘Framework’ hours of operation for premises

This is important information on the opening and closing times that the local authority will find, in most cases, to be acceptable. Policies vary a great deal in the level of detail provided. Some do not publish specific hours of operation at all, others publish detailed lists of hours by type of premises. 

Licensing Sub committees must make decisions that are consistent with the 2003 Licensing Act and with their own Statement of Licensing policy.

It is crucial that before making an application for a new Premises Licence or seeking to vary a Licence, the applicant carefully considers the relevant local authorities Statement of Licensing Policy. The Licensing Authority will expect applications to be consistent with the policy and if any application deviates from the policy, this will need to be carefully justified.

How we can help

We have advised clients over many years across very many different local authorities all over the country. We can help you craft applications that give you what your business needs whilst being consistent with the local authorities Statement of Licensing Policy. In those occasions where your operation appears to deviate form the local authority policy, we can help you to justify that deviation.

Recent cases

  • Restaurant Maida Vale – Variation of Premises Licence
  • Restaurant West Hampstead – New Premises Licence
  • Restaurant Hackney Wick – New Premises Licence
  • Café Fulham – New Premises Licence
  • Office Bar Chiswick- New Premises Licence
  • Roof-top bar London Bridge – New Premises Licence
  • Event space Spitalfields – New Premises Licence
  • Restaurant Broadway Market- New Premises Licence

What our clients say

“We applied for a premises licence using TV Edwards. The process was very straightforward: Julian explained the process, asked some questions and his staff basically did the rest. Everyone I dealt with was professional and pleasant. Should a need arise, I would definitely use them again.”

Samir El-Hibri, co-owner – Vanilla Bean Cafe


Our Licensing fees vary depending on the complexity of each case.  Every case is different.  Some applications will be very straightforward whist others might be extremely complex. Factors will include whether the licence sought is for a premises in a cumulative impact zone, whether the application deviates from local authority policies, whether local objections are anticipated and how novel or unusual the application is. Further information on our Licensing fees can be found here.

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