Apply for a premises licence to sell alcohol

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You need a licence from the council to provide late night refreshments and regulated entertainment.

Eligibility criteria Click to get info

Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • Anyone who 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 and Wales
  • Anyone discharging a statutory function under Her Majesty's prerogative
  • A person from an educational institute
  • Any other permitted person

Applicants must also be 18 years of age or older.

Regulation summary

See a summary of the regulation relating to this licence on the Office of Public Sector Information website.

The application process Click to get info

Applications must be sent to the licensing authority for the area in which the premises are located.

Applications must be in a specific format and accompanied by the required fee, an operating schedule, a plan of the premises and a form of consent from the premises supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity)

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 for a limited licence, the period for which the licence is required
  • Information in respect to the premises supervisor
  • Whether any alcohol 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

A notice advertising the application must be displayed 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 relevant licensing authority.

A notice must also be published in a local newspaper 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 licensing authority.

The responsible authorities and all the interested parties will have a period of 28 consecutive days to make representations regarding a premises licence application (grant or variation) to the licensing authority.

If the licensing authority considers that a representation is relevant, a hearing will be held to consider these representations (unless all parties agree that a hearing is unnecessary).

The licensing authority must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing must be held if any representations are made in respect to the application. 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
  • The application can be rejected

The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations (such as those not deemed frivolous or vexatious) and the chief of police.

Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence. A hearing may have to be heard if representations are made or conditions relating to a transfer are not met.

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

Guidance notes

Will tacit consent apply? Click to get info

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if no representations have been received within 28 days of submitting your application.

In the first instance, please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the licensing team.

If an application for a licence is refused the failed applicant can appeal. Appeals are made to a magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Licence holder redress

In the first instance, please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the licensing team.

If an application is made by the chief police officer, as detailed below, and interim steps are taken by the licensing authority you may make representations. A hearing must be held within 48 hours of your representations.

A licence holder may appeal against 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 premises supervisor.

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

Consumer complaint

An interested party or responsible authority may apply to the licensing authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the licensing authority.

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

Other redress

The chief police officer for the police area where the premises are located can apply to the licensing authority for a review of the licence if the premises are licenced to sell alcohol by retail. If a senior officer has given a certificate that they are of the opinion that the premises are associated with either serious crime or disorder or both, a hearing will be held and the licence holder and other interested parties may make representations.

A chief police officer can give a notice to the licensing authority if they believe that the transfer of a licence to another - under a variation application - could undermine crime prevention objectives. Such a notice must be given within 14 days of receiving notification of the application.

An interested party or responsible body may make representations in relation to a licence application or request the licensing body to review a licence.

An interested party or responsible authority may apply to the licensing authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the licensing authority.

A chief police officer may make representations to the licensing authority for a review of the licence, if the premises are licensed to sell alcohol by retail and a senior member of the force has given a certificate to state that in their opinion the premises are associated with serious crime, disorder or both.

An interested party or relevant authority that made relevant representations may appeal against the granting of a licence or against any condition, variation, licensable activity or premises supervisor decisions.

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

All representations must be received in writing (via post or email), before the end of the consultation period. The last date representations can be received for these applications is indicated next to the application to which it relates.

Please be advised that it is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in connection with any application. A person is liable to an unlimited fine on conviction should such a false statement be made

Grant of a premises licence/club premises certificate applications: 

Full variation applications:

Minor variation applications:

Review application:

The Licensing Act 2003 requires licensing authorities to determine and to publish, every five years, a Statement of Licensing Policy.  The policy details the principles to be applied when determining applications under the Act for the sale and supply of alcohol, provision of regulated entertainment and late night refreshment (licensable activities).

In January 2005, the London Borough of Waltham Forest published its Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003. The policy details the principles to be applied when determining applications under the Act for the sale and supply of alcohol, and the provision of regulated entertainment and late-night refreshment (licensable activities)".

"It is a requirement of the Act that the council must review and re-publish its policy, in accordance with the Act (currently every five years).

Regulators' Code Click to get info

In delivering our statutory functions of checking and ensuring businesses comply with the relevant legislation; we will act in accordance with the Regulators’ Code and our own enforcement policy. Please click here for our service standards.

Contact Click to get info

Waltham Forest Licensing Section
Neighbourhoods & Commercial Services
Magistrates Building
1 Farnan Avenue 
Walthamstow, London 
E17 4NX

Phone: 020 8496 3000
Emaillicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk