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With Christmas fast approaching, it may be that you’re thinking of hosting some festive fun at your premises. But what if your premises doesn’t have a suitable licence? If this is the case, you need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).

TENs can be used to carry out a licensable activity, such as the sale of alcohol, providing entertainment such as live or recorded music, dancing, or an indoor sporting event, on unlicensed premises. They can also be used by licensed premises if they wish to extend and trade beyond the hours permitted under their licence.

There are, however, certain timescales involved for lodging TENs, and with Christmas only a matter of weeks away, it is best to get organised and lodge your TENs as soon as possible – our advice would be to not leave it until the last minute.

You must lodge a standard TEN with the local authority at least 10 clear working days before your event. You have 5 clear working days before the event to lodge a late TEN.

We’ve compiled the table below to highlight notable TEN deadlines between now and Christmas –

Event Standard TEN Deadline Late TEN Deadline
Weekend Prior to Halloween 13th October 2023 20th October 2023
Halloween 16th October 2023 23rd October 2023
Weekend Post Halloween 20th October 2023 27th October 2023
Bonfire Night 20th October 2023 27th October 2023
Christmas Eve 8th December 2023 15th December 2023
Christmas Day 8th December 2023 15th December 2023
Boxing Day 8th December 2023 15th December 2023
New Year’s Eve 13th December 2023 20th December 2023
New Year’s Day 13th December 2023 20th December 2023

Are there any restrictions to TENs?

If applying for a TEN, be mindful that there are a few restrictions that apply. These include:

  • Your event must have fewer than 500 people in attendance at all times (that includes any staff or anyone working the event).
  • Your event mustn’t last longer than a week.
  • If you’re organising separate but consecutive events, lasting longer than a week, there must be at least a 24 hour gap between each TEN.

There are also restrictions on the number of TENs that can be applied for, such as:

  • You, as an individual, can get up to 5 TENs a year.
  • This number increases to 50 TENs a year if you already have a personal licence to sell alcohol.
  • A single premises can have up to twenty TENs applied for in one year, if the combined length of the events does not exceed 26 days.

The number of TENs allowed for a premises is due to change after December and revert back to the pre-pandemic allowance. Starting 1st January 2024, premises will be limited to 15 TENs in one year with the total number of days not exceeding 21 days.

Will the council object to my TEN?

Unless the police or environmental health object to a TEN, then the council cannot refuse it.

However, if this is the case, they must do so within 3 working days. There are several reasons for which the police or environmental health may refuse your TEN application, including that the event could:

  • Cause a public nuisance
  • Lead to crime and disorder
  • Be a threat to public safety
  • Put children at risk of harm

If there is an objection, a hearing will be held no later than 24 hours before the event, unless all parties agree that a hearing is not necessary. At the hearing, the committee will either approve, add conditions, or reject the notice.

A hearing is only available for standard TENs. If an objection is made to a late TEN, you will not be able to hold the event.

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 one of our legal experts.


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