Alcohol & entertainment

The Government announces it will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant

This means:

  • From 10 December 2021, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings.
  • From 13 December 2021 office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • From 15 December 2021, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread explains this in more detail.

Consultation on the Hart District Council Statement of Licensing Policy

Our Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy is currently under review.

As a licensing authority we are responsible for licensing premises within our district that provide:

•    the sale of alcohol, for consumption both on and off the premises
•    the provision of regulated entertainment
•    the sale of hot food and/or hot (non-alcoholic) drinks after 23:00

Premises such as pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets, together with late night takeaways all require licensing in some form.
We are required to produce a Statement of Licensing Policy setting out the approach to licensing in our district. This policy provides clear guidance on the legal requirements and expectations of the council; to licence holders, applicants, and residents.

There are four licensing objectives under the Licensing Act 2003, which are:
•    prevention of crime and disorder.
•    public safety.
•    prevention of public nuisance.
•    protection of children from harm
 
We can only have regard to matters that relate to one or more of the licensing objectives listed above when determining our Statement of Licensing Policy.

Licensing Act policy consultation

We are seeking views from local businesses, local residents, and responsible authorities on our Draft Licensing Policy 2022 - 2027. You can download the draft policy below.

The consultation will run from 29 November 2021 to 5pm 11 February 2022.

All responses must include your name and contact details, as anonymous responses will not be considered. If you wish to comment on the draft policy please email your response to licence@hart.gov.uk by 5pm on 11 February 2022. Please title your email Licensing Act Consultation.

Privacy policy
Names of those who have submitted a comment during the consultation period will be included in future reports but contact details will be removed.
View our privacy policy for information on how we will use your information.

The Licensing Authority

Hart District Council is the Licensing Authority pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003 and is responsible for considering, processing and enforcing a range of licences and regulating the carrying on of  licensable activities on licensed premises, qualifying clubs and temporary event notices. 

We aim to to encourage in our District a wide choice of high quality and responsibly managed entertainment and cultural venues which provide a diverse range of licensed activities, community interaction and a variety of places for retail and refreshment; ensuring at all times the safety and amenity of residential communities, business communities and the visiting public. 

There are four licensing objectives which underpin the licensing process under the Licensing Act 2003, each is given equal weight when considering licence applications and enforcement activity:

  • Prevention of Crime and Disorder
  • Public Safety
  • Prevention of Public Nuisance
  • Protection of Children from Harm

The licensable activities as defined by the Act include:

  • Sale and/or supply of alcohol
  • The provision of regulated entertainment which includes:
        a performance of a play
        an exhibition of a film
        an indoor sporting event (subject to some exemptions)
        boxing or wrestling entertainment
        a performance of live music (subject to some exemptions)
        playing of recorded music (subject to some exemptions)
        provision of late night refreshment

Temporary Event Notices (TENS)

We are mindful that the recent relaxation of restrictions may result in an increase in TENs being submitted to the Licensing Authority for events in the open air.  In order to assist event organisers to deliver a safe event using the TENs process, we would strongly advise the following:

  • Ensure that you have conducted a thorough risk assessment for the proposed entertainment and, in particular, follow Government guidance in relation to any COVID-19 measures. 

  • We strongly suggest that you submit the risk assessment you have undertaken at the same time you give notification of the TEN. This is to reduce the potential risk of objections being made by the Police or Environmental Health. This will enable the authorities to properly consider the measures you intend to put in place. This may well prevent possible objections, which would result in either the event not going ahead under a late TEN, or a formal hearing being necessary for a standard TEN.

Please see below links for further information if you are thinking of organising an event:

Licence fees 

Licensing Act 2003 fees are set centrally. Councils don’t have flexibility and the Act does not provide any mechanism to refund licence fees.

Premises' licences are subject to an annual fee which is due on the anniversary of the grant of the licence. Invoices shall be sent when this is due.

Generally when annual fees become due but are not paid, the premises licence is suspended. This remains the default position.  

Any suspended premises licences as a result of the pandemic can be re-instated upon receipt of the annual fee payment. Premises can be open with the licence suspended if no licensable activity is taking place i.e. restaurant selling food for takeaway or deliveries but no alcohol.  

If you are struggling to pay the annual fee due to the pandemic, please contact the licensing team to discuss.  

Alcohol

Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol in Hart must have a licence or other authorisation from the Council.

The law and policy governing is overseen by the Home Office. For more information please visit the GOV.UK website, where you can also apply for an alcohol licence

Entertainment

If you are carrying out, or holding an event you may need a licence. The type of licence will depend on if it is a temporary event or, if you are looking for a longer term permission, you may need to apply for a premises licence.

Application Forms

Applications may be posted or hand delivered to the Licensing Team, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, London Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 4AH. Please contact us by telephone for further information.

You can view details of licensing applications submitted to the Council, including:

  • Public notices
  • Making a comment (register or login first) or
  • View existing licences

We are responsible for enforcing many of these licences, along with several other services such as the police and trading standards, and failure to follow the law could result in prosecution.

How we deal with licensing applications

Our Statement of Licensing Policy provides information on how we deal with applications. This includes information about: 

Procedures, administrative issues and hearings

Officers are working to process licence applications within the prescribed period and deal with customer enquiries as promptly as possible. Licensing Act applications, hearings and requests are being addressed on a priority basis. We are happy to accept applications online, by email and/or by post.

Consideration shall be given to business-critical matters which may involve deferring non-urgent matters. Cases will be considered on their own merits in discussion with applicants.  

Dealing with non-compliance

If you are operational but struggling with specific conditions due to the pandemic, please contact us and make us aware you may be breaching conditions. We will consider each case on its own merits and weigh up the impact of potential breaches on the licensing objectives to establish if there is a need for flexibility. If it is determined that non-compliance with a licence condition cannot be temporarily disregarded, licence holders would be required to rectify any breaches as soon as reasonably practicable and with communications maintained with your designated officer. 

New emergency premises closure requirements brought in by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 (‘the Business Closure Regulations’) gives councils powers to close certain businesses and other venues that involve social contact without essential grounds for this to take place. These powers are also held by the Police and other Local Authority officers.

Licensed premises found to be breaching the legislative framework in place to prevent coronavirus may face formal action with consideration towards a premises licence review application with a view to revoking the licence.

Immigration Act 2016

Provisions to prevent illegal working in the alcohol and late night refreshments sectors

From the 6 April 2017, immigration safeguards are being introduced for alcohol and late night refreshment in England and Wales. The Licensing Act 2003 has been amended by Section 36 and Schedule 4 of the Immigration Act 2016 to incorporate these changes.

The new provisions mean that licensing authorities are prohibited from issuing premises and personal licences for the sale of alcohol or provision of late night refreshment to anyone who is illegally present in the UK or not permitted to carry out work in a licensable activity.

For all such applications made on or after 6 April, applicants should submit one of a number of specified copy documents which show that they are in the UK lawfully (if they are resident here) and permitted to carry out work in a licensable activity.

Premises or personal licences granted as a consequence of applications made on or after 6 April will lapse if a licence holder’s permission to be in the UK and work is time-limited, and comes to an end.

From 6 April, Immigration Enforcement, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, is added to the list of responsible authorities. It will be consulted for any new premises licence applications or variations for the sale of alcohol and late night refreshment. In some limited circumstances, also personal licence applications.

Please see the document below entitled List of acceptable documents to show entitlement to work. You MUST submit an acceptable document with a:

  • new premises licence application
  • full variation application to a premises licence
  • new personal licence application for it to be valid
  • transfer of a premises licence

Contact

If you require any further information or advice, please contact the licensing team by email to licence@hart.gov.uk or by calling 01252 622122.