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Premises Licences

Licence Summary
You need a licence from the Council if you are in England and you provide

  • Late night refreshment (ie the sale of hot food and/or hot drinks between 11pm and 5am)
  • Regulated entertainment
  • Sell alcohol

Eligibility Criteria

Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • anyone who uses carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates
  • a recognised club
  • a charity
  • a health service body
  • a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital
  • a chief police officer of a force in England
  • anyone discharging a statutory or function under Her Majesty's prerogative
  • a person from an educational institute
  • any other permitted person

Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.

Regulation Summary

Summary of the regulation relating to this licence

pdf icon Click here for current Licensing Fees and Charges [66kb]

Application Evaluation Process

Application must be sent to the Licensing Authority for the area where the premises are located.  Applications for the Borough of Colchester should be sent to the Licensing & Food Safety Manager, Professional Services, Colchester Borough Council, PO Box 889, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG

Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by any required fee. An Operating Schedule, plan of the premises and a consent form from the Designated Premises Supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity) must also be included.

An Operating Schedule will include details of:

  • the licensable activities
  • the times when the activities will take place
  • any other times when the premises will be open to the public
  • in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence, the period the licence is required for
  • information in respect of the premises supervisor
  • whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other required information

For new, provisional statements or full variation applications a notice must be displayed on the premises for a period of 28 consecutive days starting from the day after the day the application is made to the Licensing Authority. The Notice must be to the specified size and colour (light blue).

A notice must also be displayed in a local newspaper circulating in the area to which the premises relate. The notice must contain the same information as the notice on the premises. It must be displayed in the newspaper within 10 days from the day the application is made. The notice only has to appear once in the local paper. Please note that if the requirements of these notices are not met the Licensing Authority may require you to re-advertise and the 28 day consultation period will recommence.

A notice is also required for a minor variation application. The notice must meet the statutory requirements and be no smaller than A4 size on white paper. However, unlike full variations the consultation period is reduced for these applications. The notice has to be displayed on the premises for a period of 10 working days from the day after the application is made. No newspaper public notice is required for minor variations. The Government has issued guidance in relation to minor variations.

A statutory fee is payable upon application.  The minor variation fee is £89.

For new, provisional statements or full variation applications a notice must be served on all the pdf icon Responsible Authorities List 2018 [20kb]. Applicants are also required to advertise and detail their application on site for the entire objection period (28 consecutive days from which the Licensing Authority receive the application) and in a local newspaper circulating in the area of the application (within 10 working days of the application been received by the Licensing Authority). For minor variations the will consult those responsible authorities it considers necessary.

The objection period for new, provisional statements or full variation applications is 28 days.  If no representations are made in this time the application must be granted as applied for by the Licensing Authority.  If representations are made and they cannot be resolved the matter will be considered by the Licensing Sub-Committee at a Hearing which must be held within 20 working days of the end of the objection period.  In considering the application the Sub-Committee will have regard to the evidence placed before it by all parties and to the effect of the application on the promotion of the licensing objectives.  If a Hearing is held the licence can be granted or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded or the application can be rejected. The Licensing Authority will notify the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations  and the Chief of Police of its decision.  For minor variations the objection period is 10 working days.  If no representations are made in this time the application must be granted as applied for by the Licensing Authority.  If valid representations are received there is no right to a Hearing and the application is refused. 

Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence. A Hearing may have to be heard if representations are made.

Other applications that can be made are applications for an interim authority notice following the death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder or review applications.

Target Completion
Two months (20 working days for a minor variation application).

Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Yes. If Colchester Borough Council does not respond to an application within the target completion period shown above (or following an extension), the authorisation will be deemed to have been granted tacitly unless different arrangements are in place that are justified by an Overriding Reason of Public Interest.

Application Guidance Notes

Apply and Pay Online
Unfortunately the facility to make online applications is not yet available and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Apply via post or in person
You can apply for a new premises licence, provisional statement or interest in a licensed premises, or vary an existing licence.  Premises licence application forms are available using the link below and can be printed, completed and submitted with the relevant fee.  

Failed Application Redress
Please contact Colchester Borough Council in the first instance. If an application for a licence is refused the failed applicant can appeal. Appeals can be made to a Magistrates' Court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Licence Holder Redress
Please contact Colchester Borough Council in the first instance.

A licence holder may appeal to the Magistrates' Court (within 21 days of notice of the decision on the application) against any decision made by the Licensing Authority including any conditions attached to a licence, a decision to reject a variation application, a decision to reject a transfer application or a decision to exclude an activity or person as Designated Premises Supervisor.

Consumer Complaint
An Interested Party, Responsible Authority or Ward Councillor may apply to the Licensing Authority to review the premises licence. If the Licensing Authority accepts the grounds for the review, it will then hold a Hearing.

Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Public Register
A public register is available online using Licensing on the Map.  You can also view a copy of the register at the Council's offices during normal office hours.  To make an appointment please contact the Licensing Service.

Trade Associations

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)