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Entertainment and Alcohol Licensing

Club Premises Certificate

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Licence Summary

To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from us. In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and this is treated as the supply of alcohol, not sale. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003 and listed below:

  • a person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
  • that club rules state that those becoming member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith
  • that the club has at least 25 members
  • that alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf or by the club

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:

  • that alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members
  • that no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club
  • that there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club

Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners' Welfare Act 1952. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

Application Evaluation Process

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes.

Applications should be made to the Council where the premises is situated.

Application forms should be submitted with a fee, a plan of the premises showing specific information regarding layout,  a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format and which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club
  • the times the activities are to take place
  • other opening times
  • if alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other information that is required

If there are any alterations to the rules or name of the club before or after the certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to us. If a certificate is in place this must be returned to us at the same time.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club secretary must give notice to us of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

A club may apply to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application to us.

A council officer may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

Fees are payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate. The fee is based on the rateable value of the premises. There is also an annual fee payable on the anniversary date of the licence being issued. 

Will tacit consent apply if I do not hear anything within 28 days?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted as long as there have been no valid objections within the 28 day statutory period. If a valid objection is received (which is an objection based on any of the four licensing objectives) you will receive a letter notifying you of this and inviting you to attend the committee hearing giving you at least 10 days notice. When there is a valid objection the statutory period is extended by a further 28 days to a total of 56 days.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance as we may be able to give you some advice. A failed applicant will receive notice from us of the refusal of an application for a certificate or variation of a certificate.

If an application is rejected, the applicant may appeal the decision. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision.

If an application for a variation is refused the licence holder may appeal the decision. A licence holder can appeal against a decision to put conditions on a certificate or to exclude any club activity. Appeals may also be made against the variation of any condition.

Licence Holder Redress

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made. A club may appeal against the withdrawing of a certificate. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision. Please see details below:

Northampton Magistrates Court
Regents Pavilion
Summerhouse Road
Moulton Park

Tel: 01604 497000

Consumer Complaint

If you are not happy with the service you should complain to the person or service who first dealt with the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at this stage you should then complain via the formal complaints procedure for your authority which is available on the authority website.

You should receive a reply within 10 days, but if the matter is complex, or other organisations need to be contacted, it may take longer. But you will be told what action is being taken. You should give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right.

If you are still not happy after using this complaints procedure you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Other Redress

Any interested party may make representations to us before the certificate is granted or before amendments to a certificate are granted. If representations are made a hearing will be held to consider the application and the representations. We will make notices detailing the reasons for any outcome. Interested parties who made representations will receive notice of a failed application.

An interested party is:

  • a person living near the premises or a body representing such a person
  • a person involved in a business near the premises or a body representing such a person

An interested party may request a review of the club premises certificate. We will give reasons for our response to the application in a notice.

An interested party may appeal if they argue that a certificate should not have been granted or that different or additional conditions or limits on activities should have been made. They may also appeal against any variation of a condition.

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the date we notified you of the decision.

A club member may request a review of the certificate. We will give reasons for our response to the application in a notice.

Trade Associations

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)

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