Temporary Alcohol Licence
Temporary Alcohol Licence and Temporary Events Notices
Temporary Alcohol Licence – if you want to carry out a ‘licensable activity’ on unlicensed premises in England or Wales you will need to contact your council for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). These notices are normally applied for to cover small events of 500 people or less, and are used to gain a Temporary Alcohol Licence to cover events which would otherwise be covered by a Premises License under the Licensing Act 2003.
Up to 15 notices can be given each year. There are a number of additional regulations that are pertinent here –
- Each notice can cover a period of up to 168 hours from start to end, with no more than 21 days in total a year.
- At least 10 working days notice must be given to the Council, excluding the first day of the event and the day that the notice is given, although a limited number of 5-day ‘late’ notices can be given.
- There must be a gap of 24 hours between notices.
- Each person (and any family member or business partner in combination) can only give 5 notices a year, unless they hold a Licensing Act 2003 personal licence in which case they can give 50.
TENs can sometimes be used in a variety of circumstances where a licence would otherwise be required, and as such present interesting opportunities for event organisers."
Objections to a Temporary Alcohol Licence
Unless the police or Environmental Health object to a Temporary Events Notice, the council can’t refuse it. If they wish to challenge a notice they must do this within three working days of receiving an application. The council can only object if they think your event could:
- lead to crime and disorder
- cause a public nuisance
- be a threat to public safety
- put children at risk of harm
On the occasion of an objection, the council’s licensing committee will hold a meeting (called a ‘hearing’) no later than 24 hours before the event (unless all parties agree that a hearing isn’t needed).
At this hearing three possible outcomes may occur –
- The committee will either approve the Temporary Events Notice,
- add conditions to a Temporary Event Notice, but only if a premises licence is already in force. (It is therefore best that you explain on the form or in a covering letter that you will implement measures to uphold the licensing objectives, such as asking for proof of age before selling alcohol).
- or reject the notice entirely
If the police or Environmental Health object to a late TEN, the notice will not be valid and you won’t be permitted to hold the event.
Appeals against licensing committee’s decisions
If you disagree with the licensing committee’s decision about your Temporary Alcohol Licence, you can make an appeal to your local magistrates’ court. This must be done 21 days, and at least 5 working days before the date of your event.
Important things to note
- You must keep your TEN in a safe place where the event is held.
- You must also display a copy of the notice where it can be easily seen.
- You could be fined if you make any false statements in your application, or face prosecution if you breach the terms of the notice.
Interesting uses of TENs
TENs can sometimes be used in a variety of circumstances where a licence would otherwise be required, and as such present interesting opportunities for event organisers. For example, they have been used to licence events for larger groups of people where the licensable activities take place in small discrete locations within one main site. Used in this way TENs can be a alternative and easy way to obtain an ‘extension’ of an existing licence for a particular occasion.
Organising an event and need a temporary alcohol licence?
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