Pubs, Clubs, Bars, Restaurants

Large Scale Music Events

Cocktails present particular problems in alcohol licensing. This is a colourful row of alcoholic drinks lined up

The most common issues arising in alcohol licensing are: cumulative impact - the premises will be in an area already saturated with licensed establishments; the terminal hour - licensed businesses want to trade late into the night, or the early hours of the morning, but nearby houses and flats may signal problems with neighbours; noise-nuisance - if there is live or amplified  music, steps need to be taken to ensure adequate sound-proofing; and anti-social behaviour - the type of customer to be attracted may be relevant.


Ancillary Bars

Today, many restaurants like to serve drinks at the bar to a select number of customers who do not want to eat. This is achievable if the application is not over-ambitious as to the number of 'drinking-only' customers. Consultation with local residents and the police is essential, to disabuse anyone of the suspicion that the application is for a bar in disguise

This is the licensed bar area of bar/restaurant
You need an alcohol licence for a floating restaurant like this



Restaurants can be on trains, in tents at county fairs, or they may be wholly outside - on pavements and at street-parties. Since the definition of "premises" in the Licensing Act is very wide, if alcohol is to be sold with a meal at any of the above variants of "restaurant", then a premises licence will almost certainly be necessary.

See also: airports

A common mistake made in alcohol licensing is for applicants for bars to describe their operating model as a 'restaurant' - hoping to disguise its impact on the locality. Licensing committees are quick to see through this.


The 'operating schedule' section of the application form needs to set out how the operation will promote the licensing objectives. An application can be won or lost on the strength/weakness of the operating schedule. There is  a tendency in current alcohol licensing to resort to licensing cliché, and a 'cut and paste' completion of the operating schedule from over-used templates. For example, in order to appease fears as to possible ASB from departing customers, applicants have taken to claiming that their bar will be "high-class", and will only attract "mature, sophisticated customers". At best, licensing committees take these assertions with a large pinch of salt. At worst they seriously damage the credibility of the applicant.

Girls dancing in a lively night club. Entertainment licences are required, as well as alcohol.


Late closing times are at the heart of many contested applications for night clubs. Noisy customers leaving in the early hours, street-fouling and other anti-social behaviour, all engage 'prevention of public nuisance'. The operating schedule should identify the steps proposed to mitigate those risks. 

Patersons Cover jpeg


The 'licensing bible'

Gerald Gouriet is General Editor

This is an impressionist Image of Glastonbury Festival. Large scale


For large-scale outdoor events, the operating schedule is likely to be more extensive than for a nightclub and may wellcomprise several volumes. Security, the admission of young persons, public transport and vehicle access are major considerations. Highways Authority and police will play an important role. 


A House of Commons Briefing Paper (May 2017) says:

Cumulative impact policies (CIPs) are not referred to in the 2003 Act. However they are discussed in Home Office Guidance (March 2015) on the Act where “cumulative impact” means “the potential impact on the promotion of the licensing objectives of a significant number of licensed premises concentrated in one area.”

Section 141 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (not yet in force) will amend the Licensing Act 2003 and put CIPs on a statutory footing while introducing a requirement on licensing authorities to review the evidence on which CIPs are based at least every three years.

Further reading: See Cumulative Impact Policies: More honoured in the breach?

See also: House of Commons Briefing Paper

Further reading: Sale of alcohol - "Light Touch Bureaucracy"?

See also: Sale of Alcohol  Minimum Unit Pricing


DRUGS MISUSE is a particular problem in the night time economy, with some evidence of dealers being admitted by door staff. The 'prevention of crime'  licensing objective is fully engaged. The recent closure of 'Fabric' nightclub shows how seriously this issue is taken. The operating schedule of a nightclub should set out robust policies for search, seizure and safe storage prior to collection by police.

This is a badge signifying Zero Tolerance to drugs.

If you have a question relating to Alcohol Licensing or Entertainment Licensing please telephone 020 7353 8415

0r use the Contact Form

Alcohol & Entertainment Clients

Fabric Nightclub

Successful appeal against Police conditions

J D Wetherspoon

Applications for new pubs

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club


Objection to Field Day Music Festival


Successful appeal against 'test purchase' conviction


High Court challenge to police as additional objector


Opposition to EMRO for Blackpool

The London Edition

Appeal against midnight closing of main bar

St. Martins Lane Hotel

Restoration of late hours on appeal from review

The Café Royal

Licensing of major refurbishiment

Live Nation

Hyde Park Olympic Concert


Application for bar/restaurant in CIZ

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Restoration of late hours, on appeal from review

All Bar One

Appeal against licence conditions

Steak & Co

Successful appeal against refusal to licence a bar/restaurant

The Albert Hall

No authority to hear residents who object out of time

The Royal Opera House

Licensing of events and functions

Somerfield Stores

Judicial Review of licence conditions

Licensing Authorities


Westminster, Richmond, Manchester, Islington, Southwark & Greenwich Councils: City of London & Metropolitan Police.