The information is provided as guidance only and is not intended to be either a comprehensive nor exhaustive explanation of the requirements and obligations under the relevant pieces of legislation.

If you have any queries please contact Mid Devon District Council. Alternatively, you may also wish to consider other sources of assistance, such as independent legal advice.

General

The sale and supply of alcohol, because of its impact on the wider community and on crime and anti-social behaviour, carries with it greater responsibility than the provision of regulated entertainment and late night refreshment. This is why individuals who may be engaged in making and authorising the sale and supply of alcohol require a Personal Licence. Not every person retailing alcohol at premises licensed needs to hold a personal licence, but every sale or supply of alcohol must be authorised by a person who does hold a Personal Licence. A Personal Licence holder must be named as the Designated Premises Supervisor on every Premises Licence which permits the supply of alcohol.

The only exception is for community premises where the management committee may apply for this requirement to be removed. This can be done either when the licence is applied for or by requesting a variation of the licence.

Such premises which have, or are applying for, a premises licence that authorises alcohol sales may apply to disapply the standard mandatory condition and instead include an alternative licence condition.

Such an application may only be made if the licence holder is, or is to be, a committee or board of individuals with responsibility for the management of the premises (the "management committee"). If the application is successful, the effect of the alternative licence condition will be that the licence holder (i.e. the management committee) is responsible for the supervision and authorisation of all alcohol sales made pursuant to the licence. There will be no requirement for a Designated Premises Supervisor or for alcohol sales to be authorised by a personal licence holder.

Community premises are defined as premises that are or form part of:

a) a church hall, chapel hall or other similar building, or

b) a village hall, parish hall, community hall or other similar building.

In most instances, it should be self-evident whether a premise fits this category.

Where it is not clear whether premises are "community premises", licensing authorities will approach the matter on a case-by-case basis.

The main consideration in most cases will be how the premises are predominately used. If they are genuinely made available for community benefit most of the time, and accessible by a broad range of persons and sectors of the local community for purposes which include purposes beneficial to the community as a whole, the premises will be likely to meet the definition.

Sections 25A(6) and 41D(5) of the Licensing Act 2003 require the licensing authority to be satisfied that the arrangements for the management of the premises by the committee or board are sufficient to ensure the adequate supervision of the supply of alcohol on the premises.

The reference to a "committee or board of individuals" is intended to cover any formally constituted, transparent and accountable management committee or structure. Such a committee should have the capacity to provide sufficient oversight of the premises to minimise any risk to the licensing objectives that could arise from allowing the responsibility for supervising the sale of alcohol to be transferred from a personal licence holder/designated premises supervisor.

This could include management committees, executive committees and boards of trustees.

If the management committee of a community premises is applying for authorisation for the sale of alcohol for the first time, it should complete the relevant application form with the new premises licence application or the premises licence variation application. No extra payment is required beyond the existing fee for a new application or a variation.

Where a community premises already has a premises licence to sell alcohol, but wishes to include the alternative licence condition in place of the usual mandatory conditions in sections 19(2) and 19(3) of the Licensing Act 2003, it should submit the form on its own together with the required fee of £23.00.

The application form requires the applicants to provide the names of the management committee’s key officers e.g. the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer.

Applicants must set out how the premises is managed, its committee structure and how the supervision of alcohol sales is to be ensured in different situations (e.g. when the hall is hired to private parties) and how responsibility for this is to be determined in individual cases and discussed and reviewed within the committee procedure in the event of any issues arising. The application form requires that the community premises submit copies of any constitution or other management documents with their applications and that they provide the names of their key officers e.g. the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. Where the management arrangements are less clear, licensing authorities may ask for further details to confirm that the management board or committee is properly constituted and accountable before taking a decision on whether to grant the application (subject to the views of the police). Community premises may wish to check with the licensing authority before making an application.

The Chief Officer of Police must be consulted on the application. In exceptional circumstances the Chief Officer of Police can object to a request for inclusion of the alternative licence condition on the grounds of crime and disorder. The police will consider any history of incidents at an establishment in light of the actual or proposed management arrangements, including the use of appropriate hire agreements. If the Chief Officer of Police issue a notice seeking the refusal of the application to include the alternative licence condition, the licensing authority must hold a hearing in order to reach a decision on whether to grant the application.

Where the Chief Officer of Police has made relevant representations against the inclusion of the alternative licence condition, or given a notice under section 41D(6) which was not withdrawn, the Chief Officer of Police can appeal the decision of the licensing authority to allow the inclusion of the alternative licence condition. Similarly, a community premises can appeal a decision by the licensing authority to refuse to include the alternative licence condition following a hearing triggered by relevant representations or by a notice given under section 41D(6). Following a review of the licence in which the mandatory conditions are reinstated, the licence holder may appeal against the decision. If the alternative licence condition is retained on review, the applicant for the review or any person who made relevant representations may appeal against the decision.

As indicated above, sections 25A(6) and 41D(5) of the 2003 Act require the licensing authority to consider whether the arrangements for the management of the premises by the committee are sufficient to ensure adequate supervision of the supply of alcohol on the premises. Where private hire for events which include the sale of alcohol is permitted by the licence, it would be necessary to have an effective hiring agreement. The agreements can also be used to cater for the circumstances surrounding each hire arrangement e.g. to state that the hirer is aware of the licensing objectives and offences in the Licensing Act 2003 and will ensure that it will take all necessary steps to ensure that no offences are committed during the period of the hire.

As the premises licence holder, the management committee will collectively be responsible for ensuring compliance with licence conditions and the law (and may remain liable to prosecution for one of the offences in the Licensing Act) although there would not necessarily be any individual member always present at the premises. While overall responsibility will lie with the management committee, where the premises are hired out the hirer may be clearly identified as having responsibility for matters falling within his or her control (e.g. under the contract for hire offered by the licence holder), much in the same way that the event organiser may be responsible for an event held under a Temporary Event Notice. Where hirers are provided with a written summary of their responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003 in relation to the sale of alcohol, the management committee is likely to be treated as having taken adequate steps to avoid liability to prosecution if a licensing offence is committed.

 

Where there is evidence of problems at the premises any responsible authority and/or interested party can apply to Review the Premises Licence. In such cases the authority could reinstate the mandatory conditions where this was necessary.

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