Temporary Event Notices: liked only by the trade

Related tags Temporary event notices License

It appears that no-one outside the licensed trade has a good word to say for Temporary Event Notices (TENs). Various licensing officers to whom I...

It appears that no-one outside the licensed trade has a good word to say for Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

Various licensing officers to whom I have spoken describe the system as "a mess". They do not like either the ability of a wide range of people to slap them in for special and not so special occasions, or the inability of the authorities to prevent them other than on crime and disorder grounds.

Westminster - that paragon of licensing

virtue - thinks they are being used by licensees to undermine their own policy on restricting hours. Operators use them (shock, horror!) to extend their hours of opening, when the council has clearly indicated that they do not want it. How dare they?

As I have written before, TENs are a compromise. They operate both within and without the licensed trade, because they have taken over from occasional permissions as well as occasional licences. So complete amateurs are allowed to set up a bar at their own event and sell alcohol for a specified period.

So far, I have not encountered too many horror stories about this freedom. There are other social laws to deal with disorder and alcohol-fuelled violence, but in general the "amateur" notices have followed the pattern of the past and have only been used for local events such as fetes, fairs, school sports days and the like. The fabric of society has not been undermined as a result.

Use by the licensed trade has been mixed: it is perfectly true that the notice-giving has been of assistance when a licence application has gone wrong, or to cover a succession of weekends which are not "special" in the old sense. But why should they be? The old occasional licence did not need to be linked to something special - it was there to provide a solution when the need arose. It was only the special order of exemption which the justices controlled so carefully.

There has been some lobbying to change the law, but it seems clear to me that the DCMS is most reluctant to have anything approaching an amendment Act on TENs. They have already extended the scope

somewhat by allowing various parts of premises to have their own set of TENs and

I do not get the impression that they think the system is being abused in the way Westminster is suggesting.

It is, however, an unsatisfactory compromise - the idea was that the licensed trade would be allowed to apply on their premises licences to cover hours they might need. In some areas this has not been allowed - hence the use of a temporary notice to cover it.

Related topics Entertainment

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