Alcohol & entertainment

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

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.  


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


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

All applications with the exception of personal licences may be submitted online via the links above. However if you have any questions please telephone us on 01252 622122.

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

  • Public notices
  • Making a comment (register or login first) or
  • View current application or 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: 

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 2017, 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 2017, 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


Night Time Economy Vulnerability Charter


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