Legal advice: Six things to think about when adding to your outdoor offer

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Take advantage: Installing a marquee can provide a suitable outdoor area
Take advantage: Installing a marquee can provide a suitable outdoor area
With British Summertime under way and the days getting longer, hopefully, we should be in for some better weather and you may be considering using any external areas to take full advantage.

If you are considering putting a marquee or something similar in your beer garden to cater for your growing number of customers then you may also be considering installing a temporary bar and perhaps offering entertainment and food as well.

If this is case then there are a number of key points to consider:

  • You should check your licensing plan to identify if the external area you are planning to use is within the licensed area to sell alcohol. If this is the case then you could have a temporary bar in the marquee.
  • You should also review your premises licence to check that there are no conditions that would prevent you from doing this, eg, a condition stating that there can
  • be no customers in external areas after a certain time
  • If the external area is not within the licensed area, you will not be able to use it without further authorisation. However, if your premises licence allows both on and off-sales for the supply of alcohol then you could rely on this to provide the marquee, either by customers purchasing their drinks at the internal bar and taking them outside, or by serving customers in this area by waiter/waitress service.
  • If you want to install a temporary bar, you can apply for a temporary event notice or a variation to your licence. You must ensure that any further authorisation provides for supply of alcohol both on and off the premises so that customers will be able to take their drinks from the marquee to the premises and vice versa.
  • If you want to have live or recorded music then you should check your premises licence to see if this is authorised for the external area. However, if it is not then you may be able to rely on the various exemptions for live and recorded music under the Live Music Act and further deregulations.
  • If you are proposing to serve hot food and drinks after 11pm in your marquee then you will need to ensure that you are permitted late-night refreshment for the external area on your premises licence.

This is a brief outline and it is important to remember that there are other considerations such as health and safety requirements, the immediate impact to neighbours if the premises are located in a residential area, before using any external area – if these are not satisfied then you could face enforcement action, eg, a noise abatement notice.

Related topics: Licensing law, Property law, Legislation

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