Legal Q&A: TENs and converting space

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

TENs and converting space: The latest legal Q&A from specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen looks at temporary event notices (TENs) and space conversion.
TENs and converting space: The latest legal Q&A from specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen looks at temporary event notices (TENs) and space conversion.
The latest legal Q&A from specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen looks at temporary event notices (TENs) and space conversion.

TENs – the absolute limit

Q. My husband and I run a small country pub with a large garden. The garden is not part of the licensed area on the plans so to make the most of good weather we occasionally use temporary event notices (TENs) to licence an external bar. My husband is the DPS on the premises licence and he usually issues the TENs, however, last week he asked me to deal with one. I do not hold a personal licence and the licensing authority has told me that since my husband has already issued more than five TENs this year that I am over my personal limit. How can my husband’s TENs impact on my allowance?

A​. This is due to a sub-section in the Licensing Act that states the maximum number of TENs anybody can issue in a calendar year (50 for a personal licence holder, or five for a non-personal licence holder) includes not only TENs that are issued by the individual themselves, but also by their ‘associates’. 

Associates in this context includes a premises user’s spouse. Therefore, as your husband has already issued at least five TENs, the licensing authority is correct and your personal allowance has, technically, been spent. 

You can, of course, apply for a personal licence to increase your allowance to 50 or, alternatively, your husband will need to issue the TENs, subject to his own allowance and those that apply to the premises.

Converting space

Q. I own a multi-storey property in a city centre and operate a restaurant on the ground floor. There is a large room on the first floor that is not currently being used and I would really like to convert that space into a cocktail lounge to complement the restaurant. Is there anything stopping me from doing this?

A​. There are several things to consider here. In the first instance, you will need to check whether the first-floor space is shown on your licence plans and whether it is licensed. If you do not intend to build a bar servery in the first-floor space then you may be able to service the cocktail lounge via off-sales. However, even if you do not license the space, you may still need to vary your premises licence plans to show the new area.

Secondly, you must check the conditions on your premises licence. In particular, you may have conditions restricting the style of trade to a restaurant where, for example, all sales of alcohol must be to persons seated with a table meal. 

If such restrictions apply then you will probably need to submit a variation application to change these conditions in order to operate a cocktail lounge. 

I note, as well, that your premises is located in a city centre and therefore, it is possible that a cumulative impact policy is in place, which may make it very difficult to apply for any new alcohol-led licensed areas. 

Furthermore, if the area is not already included on the licence then your local authority may require you to apply for a whole new premises licence for the first-floor space.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider here and, in addition to licensing, you may need to carry out a new fire risk assessment
and I would also suggest that you check your planning consent.

Related topics: Licensing law

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