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Premises licence

A Premises Licence allows the premises to be used for one or more licensable activities. It is illegal to carry out a licensable activity without a Premises Licence, unless the planned activity qualifies as a temporary event, or it is a qualifying club activity authorised by a Club Premises Certificate.

Licensable activities include:

  • selling alcohol
  • serving hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am

You’ll also need a licence if you provide the following types of entertainment:

  • theatrical performance
  • showing a film
  • indoor sporting event
  • boxing or wrestling (indoor or outdoor)
  • live music
  • recorded music
  • dance
  • facilities for making music
  • dancing facilities
Pre application advice service. The Licensing Authority offers a pre-application advice service.

You can apply to make changes to an existing premises licence including non-substantial changes to the structure or layout of a premises, adding late night refreshment or regulated entertainment (such as live music, performance of plays or film exhibitions), changes to licensed hours or revisions and removals and additions of conditions.

Apply online

Minor variation of a Premises Licence

It is possible to make small changes to an existing premises licence through the minor variation process, which is cheaper, easier and quicker than the full variation process. A minor variation is defined as one that could not impact adversely on any of the four licensing objectives: The prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance; and the protection of children from harm.

However, changes to layout should be referred to the full variation process if they could potentially have an adverse impact of the promotion of the licensing objectives, for example by:

  • Increasing the capacity for drinking on the premises;
  • Affecting access between the public part of the premises and the rest of the premises or the street or public way, for instance, block emergency exits or routes to emergency exits; or
  • Impeding the effective operation of a noise reduction measure such as an acoustic lobby.

The Authority will consider each application on a case by case basis and in light of any licence conditions put forward by the applicant.

Apply online

Generally, the person or body who plans to carry on the business at the premises will make the application for a licence. All applicants must be aged 18 or over.

The applicant will be required to advertise the application and send a copy to the Fire Authority and Police. Interested parties may then send comments on the application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Apply online

Provisional Statement

You can also apply for a Provisional Statement to seek confirmation as to whether a premises under construction (or being substantially altered) would be granted a premises licence upon completion of the building works and if so, what conditions would be imposed.

The holder of the provisional statement would need to apply to the Council for a Premises Licence once the works are completed.

Disapplication of Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)

If alcohol is being served, it is mandatory to have a Designated Premises Supervisor. However, for community premises such as village halls etc. which are run by a committee, this may not be necessary. You can apply to have the need for a DPS to be dis-applied.

A Premises Licence, unless required for a specified limited period, will continue until revoked or surrendered.

However, you are required to pay an annual fee. This fee will support the costs of the licensing inspection system and the enforcement of the regime.

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You can advise us of a change of name or address by using our online form.

Apply online

By post

You can advise us of a change of name or address by post. Download, complete and return our Notification of change of name or address form to the address on the form. Please read the form carefully and ensure the procedures noted are carried out.

Please see our fees and charges page for further details.

View our fees and charges

Some documents on this page may not be in an accessible format. If you require any documents in an accessible format, please complete our online form to request them.

For more guidance, please see our Premises Licence FAQs page.