Individuals or organisations which provide certain licensable activities, such as selling alcohol, providing regulated entertainment (live or recorded music, films, plays etc), or supplying late-night refreshment, must hold licences to authorise these activities, under the Licensing Act 2003. Where these activities are intended to take place within the borough, we are responsible for issuing the licences required.

A Club Premises Certificate is available only to members' clubs. These qualifying clubs tend to be run in a more restricted way than other licensed  premises, as they usually have membership systems, club rules and a constitution, so they can enjoy certain benefits under the Licensing Act, including the lack of requirement to nominate a Designated Premises Supervisor, and exemption from police powers to instantly close a premises. However, this type of licence only allows authorised activities to be carried on for the benefit of club members and their guests.

A club premises certificate is a permanent licence granted in respect of a premises occupied by and habitually used for the purposes of a club and can authorise:

  • the supply of alcohol by a club to its members and their guests
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (including plays, films, indoor sports, music and dancing) and
  • the provision of late-night refreshment (hot food and/or drink supplied between 11pm and 5am) This is an automatic entitlement for a premises holding a club premises certificate.

Who can apply?

To qualify for a Club Premises Certificates, applicants must meet a number of requirements, which are set out in the Licensing Act. A 'qualifying club' is one where the club and its assets are for the mutual benefit of its members. To be a 'qualifying club', the club must:

  • have at least 25 members
  • have a gap of at least two days between a prospective member applying to join (or being nominated) and being admitted to the club
  • be established and conducted in 'good faith'. The way the club is financed determines this.
  • alcohol is not supplied to members on the premises other than by or on behalf of the club
  • the purchase of alcohol for the club and the supply of alcohol by the club, are managed by a committee who are members of the club, are 18 years old or above, and are elected by members of the club.


Applications can be for a new certificate or a variation of the hours or activities of an existing certificate.  Each application will be different depending on the type and number of activities applied for. Full details of how to apply are given in the guidance notes attached to the application forms. An applicant will always be required to give notice of their application to a list of responsible authorities, which are statutory bodies including the Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and Trading Standards. An applicant will also be required to advertise their application, both on the premises, and in a local newspaper, to make both residents and businesses aware. 

Statement of licensing policy

Our licensing policy sets out how we normally apply our functions under the Licensing Act, particularly when making decisions on relevant applications in respect of premises licences, club premises certificates, personal licences and temporary event notices. We review our licensing policy regularly and when necessary publish revised versions reflecting changes brought about by new legislation. The licensing policy incorporates a special policy on cumulative impact which covers a number of areas. We always refer to our statement of licensing policy when carrying out our functions under the Licensing Act and expect applicants to consider its contents when making applications. To view full details read our statement of licensing policy.

Secretary of State's Guidance 

When determining applications and setting our Licensing Policy, we are also required to consider the Secretary of State's Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Responsible Authorities

Most applications made under the Licensing Act 2003 must be served on one or more of the Responsible Authorities. These bodies, together with members of the public, can make representations to applications.

Consultation process

From the day after an application for a new certificate or application for variation is made, there is a 28-day consultation period to enable either any of the responsible authorities or any other persons to make representations in respect of the application.  These can either support or oppose the application. After 28 days, if no objections have been made, the licence can be granted. If an objection has been made, the application will usually be referred to a hearing of the Licensing Sub Committee to be determined. For a list of current applications, please go to our current applications page.

Making a representation

The protection of local residents is given a central place in the Licensing Act.  When an application is made for a new licence, or a variation or review of an existing licence, other parties are free to make relevant and reasonable representations.

Relevant representations

Only representations that are about the likely effect of the grant or variation of the club premises certificate on the promotion of the licensing objectives will be considered. Representations should focus upon matters that the owners of the premises may be able to have some effect upon, such things as where customers park their cars is beyond the control of the premises owner. Representations considered to be vexatious, frivolous or repetitious will not be considered. Your representation must be in writing (email correspondence is accepted) and must include your full postal address. The Licensing Act requires that we pass your representation in full to the applicant.

Licensing objectives

 The Licensing Act 2003 outlines four objectives which underpin the regime and must be considered when determining an application:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

What happens after I make a representation?

Sometimes the applicant will contact you to see if they can satisfy your concerns by amending their application. If they are unable to resolve your concerns and if the licensing authority considers that the representations are relevant it must hold a hearing to consider those representations - unless all parties can come to an agreement beforehand, and agree that a hearing is unnecessary. The licensing authority will write to you to inform you of the date and time of the hearing and will explain the format of the hearing.

Private hire

A Club Premises Certificate alone does not authorise sales of alcohol by retail or the provision of regulated entertainment to the general public, and in most circumstances, this will prevent the hire of a club premises to non-members for private functions that involve the carrying on of licensable activities.

Club premises certificates provide that alcohol can only be supplied to; 

  • members of the club, 
  • associate members of the club or 
  • guests of the club. 

Whilst you can hire function space to non members, they cannot benefit from the activities authorised by the club premises certificate (the supply of alcohol, provision of regulated entertainment etc).

There are two ways in which your premises can be used by non-members for functions for ‘licensable activities’ including the sale of alcohol to non-members. You may choose to apply for a premises licence, or may consider private hire by way of Temporary Event Notice.

How to apply

Application forms for a new, variation of or minor variation of a club premises are available on our application forms page. You can also apply online via the web portal. If you apply using the online portal we will serve copies of your application on the responsible authorities for you, if you use the paper application form you must serve copies on all responsibale authorities yourself. 

Duration of licence

Club premises certificates have an unlimited duration, unless they are for short events and the holder has specified an expiry date. For all other licences, an annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.  A reminder is sent to the licence holder shortly before payment is due. A club premises certificate will only cease to have effect if it is surrendered by the licence holder, revoked by the Licensing Authority, or if the holder dies, becomes insolvent, or becomes mentally incapable.


The licensing authority and other responsible authorities will use their powers to ensure that licensed premises operate lawfully. However, if there are problems that cannot be resolved through mediation or enforcement, a request may be made to review a certificate. Reviews can be initiated by local residents or businesses, or any of the responsible authorities. 

When any representations have been considered, action can be taken to amend a licence (for example, by imposing further conditions or changing the authorised times), or to suspend or revoke it.

Application fees

Application fees for premises licences applications and club premises certificates depend on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises, which is also used to calculate business rates. This value can be found through VOA. Premises that do not have a rateable value such as schools, church halls, open spaces and residential properties will automatically fall into the lowest fee band. Details of the fees payable in respect of alcohol and entertainment licences are available on our fees page.

Annual fee

Club premises certificates are subject to an annual fee which is due on the anniversary date of the grant of the licence, this annual fee ensures that the licence remains active. If the annual fee is not paid within 21 days of the due date, the club premises certificate will be suspended and no licensable activities may take place until the debt paid and suspension is lifted.

Current applications

All active applications can be found on our current applications page.