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Pre application advice service

The Licensing Authority offers a pre-application advice service.  This advisory service is chargeable.  The advice is a bespoke service for licensing applications.  The aim is to help applicants and respond to challenges that may arise during the process.  Advice cannot pre-determine the outcome of any licensing application, particularly if representations are received and brought before the Licensing Sub Committee.


Who can use this service?

This service is available to those making an application under the following licensing regimes:

  • Licensing Act 2003
  • Gambling Act 2005

All applications will still be required to undergo the statutory public consultation periods as defined under the relevant legislation.

In all cases once the application is submitted to the Licensing Partnership for consideration and is validated the advice and/or guidance will stop.

Why use this service?

Our aim through this service is to help you:

  • understand how the Council’s policies will be applied to your application
  • complete your application correctly and reduce any unnecessary delays
  • peace of mind - from application to photos we make sure everything’s right first time
Using this process does not guarantee an application will be granted.

What it does is ensure that it will be processed promptly and that where appropriate, the application contains all relevant information that the Licensing Authority would expect to be in place to satisfy the Responsible Authorities concerned under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005.

Types of pre-application advice:

1. Check and send

Officers of the Licensing Partnership based at Sevenoaks District Council will meet with you to undertake a pre-submission validation check to ensure there are no errors or omissions that may result in an application being rejected as invalid. They will assist you in submitting an online application which will be distributed to the respective consultees/responsible authorities.

2. Pre-application consultation

We will undertake a pre-submission validation check of your application form and give advice on our interpretation of the legislation, our policy and where appropriate the type of conditions you may wish to offer in the operating schedule.  This will assist applicants to:

  • gain an understanding of potential issues that may arise from their application
  • consider any appropriate conditions and/or comments that may alleviate concerns of  statutory consultees or Responsible Authorities
  • understand any policy implications arising from their application

What you can expect from this service

  • advice from experienced individuals from Licensing.
  • details for the respective Responsible Authorities
  • assistance in completing application forms and associated documents;
  • advice in accordance with the Council’s relevant adopted policy;
  • advice relating to the role of Responsible Authorities;
  • highlight particular issues you may need to consider for your specific application;
  • advice regarding advertising the application and provide you with any notices that are required to be displayed at your premises, and if required in the local newspaper;
  • advice on the process and what to expect

Please note: Officers will not be able to provide views of other authorities such as the fire authority, health and safety, etc.

Where this service is used, Responsible Authorities will have a legal entitlement to make representations relating to the application, even if advice has been sought and provided under a pre-app advice.

Should an application receive representations, the matter may be referred to the Licensing Sub-Committee.  The Sub-Committee will consider the application on its merits and will determine accordingly.

How to apply for this service - contact

If you wish to make use of this service please email the Licensing Partnership at with details of the type of application you are seeking advice on.  The officer will either deal with your enquiry if it relates to a ‘check and send’ application, or will pass to an officer of the Licensing Team based at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council offices.

For a premises licence application - to ensure you get the most out of your pre-application advice we recommend you submit with your application the following:

The plan showing:

(a) the extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and internal walls of the building and, if different, the perimeter of the premises;

(b) the location of points of access to and egress from the premises;

(c) if different from (b) above, the location of escape routes from the premises;

(d) in a case where the premises are to be used for more than one licensable activity, the area within the premises used for each activity;

(e) fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals on the premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment;

(f) in a case where the premises include a stage or raised area, the location and height of each stage or area relative to the floor;

(g) in a case where the premises include any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts, the location of the steps, stairs, elevators or lifts;

(h) in the case where the premises include any room or rooms containing public conveniences, the location of the room or rooms;

(i) the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment including, if applicable, marine safety equipment; and

(j) the location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises.

The plan may include a legend through which the matters mentioned or referred to in paragraph (3) are sufficiently illustrated by the use of symbols on the plan.

And any further information you have about the proposals

Charges for service

Charges for advice regarding the Licensing Act 2003

Type of application or eventFee
Check and Send transfer of licence or variation of Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) including assistance in completing the form and advising on statutory fees and requirements £55

Charges for advice regarding the Licensing Act 2003

Type of application or eventFee
Small Application - Up to one hour of advice regarding small licence applications, (at the offices of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council)
Excludes events – see below
Medium Application - Up to 2 hours advice for medium size applications including a site visit
Excludes event – see below
Large Application - Up to 4 hours advice for large applications including multiple (if necessary) site visits
Excludes events – see below
Events up to 1000 capacity: Category A - up to 3 hours advice for extra large public events includes the cost of specialist officers and 3 site visits £354
Events between 1001 and up to 1999 capacity - Category B – up to 7 hours advice for extra large public events includes the cost of specialist officers and 3 site visits £498
Events between 2000 and up to 4999 capacity – Category C – up to 14 hours advice for extra large public events includes the cost of specialist officers and 3 site visits £690
Extra large events - 5000 people or more - Category D - up to 21 hours advice for extra large public events includes the cost of specialist officers and 3 site visits £1026