Legal advice: About turn for liquor licences

Related tags London solicitors joelson Patent

by Deborah McCallum of's legal team of experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson.It would appear that the government is now...

by Deborah McCallum of's legal team of experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson.

It would appear that the government is now back-tracking on proposals to automatically renew all liquor licences at the February 2004 brewster sessions.

It had been suggested that the government would facilitate the introduction of the new Licensing Act by passing legislation to automatically renew all liquor licences when they come up for tri-annual renewal next year.

However, licensing minister Richard Caborn has now given a clear indication that the renewals will go ahead, even though the introduction of the new act will be only months away.

Sources at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport claim that the automatic renewal proposal was never accepted by the government in the first place.

This does seem a strange decision. Despite the renewal fee being only £30, the government is ignoring the considerable time and additional expense that licence holders will be put to, by having to apply for renewal. There are always a few people who fail to renew their licence each time renewals come about and who knows what problems they will have this time if they do not renew their licences. So don't forget about it!

On the positive side, following renewal licence holders will be issued with a new liquor licence.

An applicant for conversion of existing licences will need to lodge the original licence or certified copy with that licensing authority. I would bet that some of you will find it difficult to locate old licences and therefore this will solve the problem of getting some of the necessary paperwork in order.

Don't forget that if you have a public entertainment licence (PEL), it will need to be renewed up until the second appointed day when the new act comes fully into force.

It is now proposed that this will be in March 2005. A full renewal fee is likely to be payable, even if the licence will operate only for a short period. I suspect that this will cause uproar when huge fees are demanded by councils for a PEL operating for only weeks or days in some cases. If your licence expires in February watch out!

Related topics Licensing law

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more