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Premises license warning over refurb work

A North West legal expert is warning licensees to make sure they make the relevant authorities aware of any major refurbishment work that goes on at their venue.

A premises license is the document which authorises the use of any premises for ‘licensable activities’ such as selling alcohol.

Sam Faud, solicitor in the Leisure & Licensing team at law firm Napthens, warns that the premises license includes plans of the premises themselves, and should reflect the current layout.

Premises licenses are issued by the local authority, and Sam reveals that more often than not the authority will overlook the fact that plans are not 100 per cent accurate, and simply ask a licensee to submit a variation to rectify the position.

However, some authorities are not so understanding.

She warned: “We have come across situations in the past where an authority has refused to overlook the issue and has insisted that a licensee ceases to trade until the plans are updated.

“They are technically within their rights to do this, given that trading under a license that does not have accurate plans is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003. In theory, a licensee could face an unlimited fine and six months in prison.

“This demonstrates the importance of updating the plans which accompany premises licenses, something which is often overlooked. Failure to do so can result in significant stress, time and expense.”

Sam Faud Blackburn