We provide the complete commercial debt recovery service; from outsourced early arrears collections through to expert litigation, all handled in-house by a multi-award-winning law firm.


Visit our debt recovery website

If you already have a premises licence and wish to modify its terms, such as altering the licensing hours, removing certain licence conditions, or expanding the licensed area by adding an extension to the licensing plan, it is necessary for you to apply for a variation of your premises licence.

For more significant changes, for example if you intend to extend the licensed area, increase the licensed hours, or establish an outdoor bar in the beer garden, you will need to apply for a major variation.

A major variation, like a new premises licence application, requires advertising in a local newspaper and on the site for a period of 28 days. If any objections are raised during the consultation period, a hearing will be conducted. In the absence of objections, the requested changes will be automatically approved.

Submitting your application for a major variation

To enhance the chances of a successful application, we recommend following the procedure outlined below prior to submitting your application:

  1. Consult with the relevant authorities: Prior to submission, contact the relevant authorities to obtain their comments on your proposed application. This will help you gauge their response and provide an opportunity to agree on conditions before submitting the application, thereby potentially avoiding a hearing.
  2. Consult with local residents: Depending on the nature of the variation, the location, and the premises’ history, it can be beneficial to engage with local residents. If the premises is located within a residential area or has a history of complaints from residents, it is likely that objections will be raised. Engaging with local residents early on is crucial and can prove useful if the application eventually proceeds to a hearing.
  3. Check for special policies in force: Verify if the council has implemented a cumulative impact or special policy. Such policies could make it more challenging to obtain the variation since there is often a presumption to refuse applications unless the premises can demonstrate that they would not contribute to the cumulative impact in the area.
  4. Review the council’s statement of licensing policy: This document provides valuable information regarding the council’s stance and the procedure for applying for a variation. Usually, it includes standard conditions that the council expects to be added to a variation application.
  5. Check the planning permission for the premises: Although licensing and planning are separate, if there are planning restrictions in place, they will prevent you from operating extended hours regardless of whether the licensing variation is granted.

When submitting the application, ensure that all fields are completed accurately and provide a clear description of the proposed changes through the variation. Additionally, in part M of the application form, there is an option to outline the steps that will be taken to promote the licensing objectives. Be sure to complete this section with as much detail as possible.

After submitting the application, remember to:

  1. Display the statutory notice.
  2. Advertise the application in the local newspaper.

At this stage, it’s a waiting game. Responsible authorities and local residents have 28 days to submit objections. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done during this period.

If no objections are received by the end of the consultation period, the application will be granted. If objections are raised, the application will be scheduled for a hearing before the licensing sub-committee, who will ultimately decide whether to grant, amend, or refuse the application.

If you have a scheduled hearing or require assistance with your licensing application, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help.

Please note that this information is for general guidance only and should not substitute professional legal advice. If you have specific concerns, we recommend consulting with one of our legal experts.


Scroll to next section

Scroll back to the top