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The Business and Planning Act (BPA) was introduced in 2020 and provides regulatory easement for premises to enable them more flexibility around trade. It was initially introduced to aide premises during the lockdowns.
The provision allows pubs and restaurants to sell alcohol for take-away without the need for submitting an application to vary their premises licence, as well as permitting premises to serve alcohol in an outdoor area covered by a pavement licence.
In addition, the quantity of temporary event notices (TENs) was increased to permit licensed premises 20 TENs per year over a maximum of 26 days.
The current relaxations under the BPA are due to end on 30 September 2023 for off-sales and 31 December 2023 for TENs.
The Government is now consulting on whether to make these regulatory easements permanent with the consultation running from 06 March 2023 until 01 May 2023.
The Government has set out the following proposals:
Option 1: Do nothing. This means that the easements provided by the Business and Planning Act 2020 lapse and arrangements revert to those set out in the Licensing Act 2003. Any premises licence holder whose licence only allows on-sales will need to apply for a variation if they additionally wish to provide off-sales.
Option 2: Make the temporary regulatory easements permanent for off-sales under the Business and Planning Act 2020, whereby any on-sales alcohol premise licence automatically covers off-sales as well. This would apply to existing and future premises licence holders.
Option 3: If a venue has both an alcohol premises licence and a pavement licence, the area covered by the pavement licence would automatically be included in the premises licence.
Option 1: Do nothing. This means that the easements provided by the Business and Planning Act 2020 lapse. The number of TENs permitted will revert to the numbers set out in the Licensing Act, which is 15 TENs per year for a total of 21 days.
Option 2: Extend the easement for a further twelve months, until 31 December 2024. This would mean that the number of TENs permitted will be 20 (from 15) and the maximum duration will be 26 days (from 21).
Option 3: Make the extension to the number of permitted TENs provided by the Business and Planning Act 2020 permanent. This would mean that the number of TENs permitted will be 20 (from 15) and the maximum duration will be 26 days (from 21). This would apply to existing and future premises licence holders.
For full details on the consultation and how to respond, please visit – Consultation: Licensing Act 2003: regulatory easements (accessible) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For more information or further guidance relating to this update, please call us on 01332 226 198 or fill in the form below and a member of our Licensing team will be in touch.
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