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Jargon buster

Some common terms used in licensing documents and notices you may receive – we have tried to put them into plain English.

“Club premises certificate” – a less common form of authorisation for licensable activities . Premises such as working mens’ clubs, or sports/social clubs may have this form of authorisation. Procedures for commenting on these applications are exactly the same as for premises licence applications.

“Conditions” – a premises licence or club premises certificate will often be subject to conditions aimed at limiting the potential for adverse impacts on local residents. Conditions are usually proposed as part of a licence application, and can be requested by residents. Conditions deal with matters such as clearing outside tables by a certain time, or noise does not emanate from the premises and cause a nuisance, or drinking outside is restricted.

“Core hours” – for Licensing Act 2003 applications, the Council has a policy regarding hours it will generally be prepared to grant, subject to other parts of its Statement of Licensing Policy.

“Hearing” – licensing applications are determined at a public hearing if there has been at least one representation which has not been withdrawn, or if a licence review has been called for. Everyone who has made a “representation” has the right to attend a meeting before a Licensing Sub-Committee (a panel of local Councillors). The Councillors hear from all parties. They ask questions and hear evidence and submissions. They then decide whether to grant the licence in full, in part or to reject the application completely. They can also impose conditions on the licence if they believe that would deal with the issues raised.

“Interested party” – under Gambling Act 2005 applications e.g. for betting shops, this is someone who has submitted a ‘relevant representation’.

“Late Night Refreshment” – this is one of the ‘licensable activities’ for which authorisation is required under Licensing Act 2003. It is provision hot food or drink to the public between 11pm and 5am. This applies to take-away and eat-in facilities.

“Licensable activities” – an application for a premises licence will seek permission to provide licensable activities. These are: the sale by retail of alcohol; the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club; the provision of ‘regulated entertainment’; and the provision of late night refreshment. Authorisation for licensable activities can be provided in the form of a premises licence, club premises certificate or temporary event notice (TEN).

“Licensing Policy” – Westminster City Council has developed separate licensing policy documents for Licensing Act 2003 applications, Gambling Act 2005 applications and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) 1982 application. It is a good idea to refer to the relevant policies when commenting on an application.

“Licensed Premises” – a premises with a licence authorising one or more ‘licensable activities”. Includes pubs, restaurants, late night cafes and takeaways, theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, bars and off-licences.

“Licensing Authority” – the body responsible for exercising licensing functions under Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 in any given area, usually a local authority. The licensing authority for City of Westminster is Westminster City Council.

“Licensing Objectives” – under Licensing Act 2003, prevention of public nuisance; public safety; prevention of crime and disorder; and protection of children from harm. Licensing authorities must carry out their functions with a view to promoting these objectives. The ‘licensing objectives’ under Gambling Act 2005 are different and do not include ‘prevention of public nuisance’.

“Objector” – someone who objects to a ‘sexual entertainment venue’ application. In addition, those who make ‘relevant representations’ under Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 are colloquially known as ‘objectors’.

“Other persons” – under Licensing Act 2003, a person (not a ‘responsible authority’) who has the right to make a representation to licensing authorities on applications for the grant, variation or review of a premises licence or club premises certificate. They can also call for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate. A ‘person’ includes a body corporate or incorporate e.g. a residents’ association.

“Premises Licence” – the most commonly used authorisation for the use of premises for ‘licensable activities’. Your local pub, nightclub or restaurant will have a ‘premises licence’ to authorise ‘licensable activities’. Other forms of authorisation are a ‘club premises certificate’ and a ‘temporary event notice’.

“Regulated entertainment” – the ‘licensable activity’ of provision of entertainment such as recorded music, film, plays and live music to the public. However, some forms of regulated entertainment (e.g. recorded music and live music) no longer require a premises licence in certain circumstances.

“Relevant entertainment” – (a)any live performance; or (b)any live display of nudity;
which is of such a nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience (whether by verbal or other means). Premises providing ‘relevant entertainment’ will need a ‘sexual entertainment venue’ licence, unless they are exempt.

“Relevant representation” – the formal method for residents to have a say on licence applications under Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005. A representation under Licensing Act 2003 must relate to the likely effect of the grant of an application on the promotion of the ‘licensing objectives’.

“Responsible authorities” – statutory bodies who are entitled to make representations on applications and can initiate a review. The Environmental Health authority and the police are responsible authorities.

“Review” – under Licensing Act 2003, if a licensed premises is causing problems or nuisance then residents have the right to apply to the Council to ‘review’ the premises licence.

“Sexual entertainment venue” – more commonly known as ‘lap-dancing’ or ‘strip club’ or similar. Provide ‘relevant entertainment’ which is regulated under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Most sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) will also hold a licence under Licensing Act 2003 to sell alcohol.

“Temporary Event Notice” – a temporary permission to provide licensable activities. It is not an application as such but a notice given to the licensing authority.

“Variation” – changes to licence can be made by applying to vary the licence. This is a way of amending a licence to e.g. open later or provide additional ‘licensable activities’.

If there is any word, term or document that you do not understand or that you think should be added to this list please email licensing@westminster.org.uk