Jubilee river traders will need premises licence just like pubs

Related tags Temporary event notice Premises licence River thames

Jubilee celebrations: make sure you have all your permissions in place
Jubilee celebrations: make sure you have all your permissions in place
We are all being urged to engage with the forthcoming celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Thames river pageant scheduled for Sunday, 3 June promises to be a massive waterborne celebration with many hundreds of rowed boats and a further 30,000 spectators on passenger boats moored centrally, who will be able to watch and enjoy the procession.

No celebration is complete without at least a small amount of alcoholic lubrication. Those plying their trade on the river, however, are no different to the pub across the road if they sell alcohol.

A vessel will need to have a premises licence with a designated premises supervisor, or club premises certificate, or temporary event notice to cover the period during which they are planning to sell alcohol and/or provide the regulated entertainment for paying guests.
In the Licensing Act, ‘vessel’ is defined as including any ship, boat, raft or other apparatus constructed or adapted for floating on the water. This description will hopefully encompass most of the craft likely to be on the river and will include submarines and DUKWs (wheeled amphibious vehicles).

Fast-food vehicles, which may move around to different locations in the course of their operation, require a licence for each location; in contrast, however, the vessel may be licensed at its mooring point.

Irrespective of the movement of the vessel from its mooring point it will only be regarded as having one location; where it is usually berthed.

The application process for a premises licence, club premises certificate or temporary event notice is the same as that for a fixed structure. Plans should identify the relevant areas for the sale of alcohol and regulated entertainment.

If the whole of the deck is identified as being ‘on’ the premises the provision of off-sales may be a problem, in particular when the vessel is not berthed!

To avoid confusion and remove the risk of people thinking the premises will be an ‘off-licence’, it’s usually better to apply for ‘on sales’ only.

Applications should be forwarded to the responsible authorities and also include the appropriate navigation authority, not only where the vessel is proposed to be berthed but also where it is proposed to be navigated. (This may include several different agencies and the licensing authority should be able to assist in identifying the appropriate bodies).

There may also be a requirement to circulate the application to the Environmental Agency and the British Waterways Board or Secretary of State responsible. Seek advice prior to the issue of the application as inappropriate circulation may lead to the application being declared void by the licensing authority.  

Advertising the application in the local paper and also at the location is also required.

Responsible authorities and residents may object — and do frequently. Please be prepared, therefore, if all is not ‘plain sailing’.

Finally, the cost. Fees to be included with applications are based upon the non-domestic rateable value of the building or part thereof. As the vessel is not to be habitually fixed to a mooring, (if it is, a non-domestic rateable value may have been identified) a flat-rate charge of £100 (the same as a green-field site) applies.

Related topics Licensing law

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