Premises licence

Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 came fully into effect on 24 November 2005. It brought in a new regime of licences affecting all premises that cater for activities such as:

  • The sale of alcohol;
  • Late night refreshment; and
  • Provision of entertainment, music and dancing.

These licensable activities are carried on under, and in accordance with, a Premises Licence.

What is a premises licence for?

A premises licence authorises the premises in question to carry out licensable activities. Almost any business that carries on one or more licensable activity will need a premises licence. This includes takeaways and late night cafes.

What are the licensable activities?

  • Sale or supply of alcohol.
  • Provision of regulated entertainment.
  • Provision of late night refreshment, that is, the sale of hot food or drink, at any time between 11pm - 5am.

What is regulated entertainment?

Regulated entertainment is entertainment provided in the presence of an audience for the purpose of entertaining that audience, for example:

  • The performance of a play;
  • The exhibition of a film;
  • An indoor sporting event;
  • Boxing or wrestling;
  • A performance of live music;
  • Any playing of recorded music;
  • A performance of dance; and
  • Entertainment of a similar description.

The Council's Guidance on Regulated Entertainment PDF 36Kb / 3 pages) provides more detailed information regarding regulated entertainment. This includes the exemptions to the requirement for a premises licence.

How long is a premises licence valid?

A premises licence has effect until the licence is revoked, suspended or surrendered. This means it is not time-limited, unless the applicant specifically requests this. Where a premises licence holder's permission to work in the UK is time-limited, the licence may still be granted for an indefinite period, but it will become invalid when the immigration permission expires. If a licence holder's immigration permission is curtailed or revoked by the Home Office, any premises licence issued on or after 6 April 2017 which authorises the sale of alcohol or provision of late night refreshment will automatically lapse.

Who can apply for a premises licence?

Individuals, businesses or partnerships can apply. In the case of an individual, the applicant must be aged 18 or over. From 6 April 2017, individuals applying for a premises licence for the sale of alcohol or provision of late night refreshment must provide acceptable evidence of entitlement to work in the UK as set out in the application form.

What is a designated premises supervisor?

All premises licences authorising the sale of alcohol must identify a person, known as the Designated Premises Supervisor, who has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the premises. The only exception is for community premises in respect of which a successful application has been made to disapply the usual mandatory conditions.

How do I apply for a premises licence?

You may download application forms. You can request application forms from us by calling 01768 212148 / 212273, or email

There are four key parts to your application:

  • The fee;
  • The operating schedule section of your application form;
  • The plan of your premises;
  • The consent given by the person whom the applicant wishes to be the premises supervisor, where applicable.

What is an operating schedule?

The operating schedule is formed through the completion of the application form in which the applicant details how he proposes to operate and promote the licensing objectives. The following information should be provided:

  • The licensable activities to be carried out;
  • The proposed hours that the relevant licensable activities are to take place;
  • Any other times that the premises are to be open to the public;
  • The name and address of the Designated Premises Supervisor if the licensable activities include the supply of alcohol, where applicable;
  • Where alcohol is to be supplied, whether the supplies are proposed to be for consumption on and/or off the premises;
  • Conditions that the applicant would like to volunteer which will assist in meeting the successful promotion of the licensing objectives;
  • Where the licence is for a limited period, the period required.

What are the licensing objectives?

  • Prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • Prevention of public nuisance;
  • Protection of children from harm.

Who can I speak to for advice on promoting the licensing objectives?

Advice on promoting those objectives is available in our licensing policy or from guidance documents.

As well as looking carefully at what measures you intend to put in place to promote the licensing objectives, the responsible authorities, who will be assessing your application, will be a very useful contact when you need help and expert guidance to fill out this part of your form.

It may also be helpful to speak to residents and local businesses to get their input on what you are planning to do and how you plan to promote the licensing objectives. In this way you can look to tackle any of their concerns in your operating schedule.

Do I need to advertise my application?

You must advertise by displaying a notice for a period of no less than 28 consecutive days starting on the day after the day on which the application was given to the licensing authority, which is:

  • of a size equal to or larger than A4;
  • of a pale blue colour;
  • printed legibly in black ink, or typed in black. The font size should be equal to or larger than 16;

in all cases prominently at or on the premises to which the application relates where it can be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises. In the case of a premises covering an area of more than fifty metres square, a further notice in the same form and subject to the same requirements every fifty metres along the external perimeter of the premises abutting any highway.

You must also advertise by publishing a notice in a local newspaper or, if there is none, in a local newsletter, circular or similar document, circulating in the vicinity of the premises on at least one occasion during the period of ten working days starting on the day after the day on which the application was given to the relevant licensing authority.

Who are the "responsible authorities"?

Responsible authorities are public bodies who must be fully notified of applications. They may make representations in relation to the grant, variation or review of a premises licence. Details of responsible authorities for our area are given at the bottom of this page.

Who else can comment on an application?

As well as responsible authorities, any other person (this includes any individual, body or business) can make representations in relation to applications for the grant, variation or review of a premises licence. They may act in their own right or request that a representative makes the representation on their behalf. A legal representative, friend, MP or a local ward or parish councillor can all act in such a capacity.

What is a relevant representation?

A representation is normally an objection relating to the whole of your application or to part of it. To be relevant, it must relate to one or more of the licensing objectives. For example, if it was felt you were not putting sufficient control measures in place to prevent your customers from causing disturbance, any one of the responsible authorities or any other person could make a representation.

When can a representation be made?

Representations must be made within 28 days of the date the notice of application is displayed at your premises.

Where no relevant representations are received, the Licensing Authority must grant the licence application subject only to the mandatory conditions and conditions or restrictions mentioned in the operating schedule.

If relevant representations are received and not withdrawn, the Licensing Authority must hold a hearing to consider the representations.

A hearing will also be held if there is a request for a review of the licence or the police use their powers to close the premises. At the hearing the Licensing Authority will review the licence and consider whether to amend the licence or any of the attached conditions.

Further information relating to hearings will be provided prior to the hearing or on request.

What information do I need to include in the plan of the premises?

The prescribed requirements for plans are contained within the Council's Guidance on Plans (PDF 17Kb / 1 page).

On what basis can conditions be attached to a licence?

Depending on whether relevant representations are made by responsible authorities or any other person, the Licensing Authority may be recommended to attach appropriate conditions to your new or varied licence. Conditions can only relate to the four licensing objectives. Applicants are entitled to be consulted in this process before any such conditions are imposed.

To assist both applicants and responsible authorities, we have produced a pool of sample conditions designed to address the licensing objectives. When completing the operating schedule part of their new application, or for variation, applicants are encouraged to assess the likely impact on the licensing objectives of the licensable activities being proposed. In order to address any objections that may be made in respect of a new application/variation, applicants may wish to propose their own control measures from the pool of conditions. These conditions are contained within the Licensing Authority's Sample Conditions for Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates PDF 232Kb / 29 pages.

Applicants are advised that the pool of conditions is not a definitive list. Where appropriate, responsible authorities may recommend the imposition of other conditions not necessarily contained within the above document.

How much is the fee?

The Government sets the fee. It is based on the non-domestic rateable value of your premises and will put you into a specific band.

Premises licence fees
Rateable value Band (1) New/variation fee (2) Annual maintenance fee
No rateable value to £4,300 A £100 £70
£4,301 to £33,000 B £190 £180
£33,001 to £87,000 C £315 £295
£87,001 to £125,000 D £450 £320
£125,001 and above E £635 £350

Pay your premises licence annual maintenance fee online.

For a full list of fees see the Guidance on Fees (PDF 72Kb / 2 pages).

Where can I find out the non-domestic rateable value of my premises?

This information should be contained within the annual bill you receive from the Council. Alternatively, you can find a business rates valuation on GOV.UK.

Where do I need to send the completed application form to?

All applications, accompanied by the appropriate fee and relevant enclosures, should be sent to:

Licensing Section, Westmorland and Furness Council, Town Hall, Corney Square, Penrith CA11 7QF

Please note: if your application is found to be incomplete, it will be returned to you for correction and resubmission.

Where else do I need to send a copy of the completed application?

If you are applying for a new Premises Licence or a variation to your existing Premises Licence then send one copy of your completed application to each of the bodies below:

  • The Inspector, Penrith Police Station
    Hunter Lane, PENRITH CA11 7UT

  • The Divisional Officer, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
    Carlisle East Community Fire Station, Eastern Way, CARLISLE CA1 3RA

  • Planning Services, Westmorland and Furness Council,
    Town Hall, Corney Square, PENRITH CA11 7QF or

  • Planning Services, Lake District National Park Authority
    Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, KENDAL LA9 7RL or

  • Planning Services, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
    Yoredale, Bainbridge, LEYBURN, North Yorkshire, DL8 3EL

  • Environmental Protection, Westmorland and Furness Council,
    Town Hall, Corney Square, PENRITH CA11 7QF

  • Commercial Protection Team, Westmorland and Furness Council,
    Town Hall, Corney Square, PENRITH CA11 7QF

  • Health and Safety Executive
    2 Victoria Place, CARLISLE CA1 1ER
    (only applicable where the HSE is the enforcing authority)

  • Children's Services
    Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership, 117 Botchergate, CARLISLE CA1 1RD

  • Trading Standards, Westmorland and Furness Council
    Carlisle East Community Fire Station, Eastern Way, CARLISLE CA1 3RA

  • Director of Public Health, Westmorland and Furness Council
    Cumbria House, 117 Botchergate, CARLISLE CA1 1RD

  • Alcohol Licensing Team
    Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, CROYDON, CR9 2BY

Licensing register

We are required by law to maintain a register containing details of various licences issued. This register can be viewed online or can be viewed at the Town Hall, Penrith during normal office hours. If you notice any apparent error or omission in the register, or if you have any query about it, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.

Online Licensing Register

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.