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Premises licence variation to double sizes of pub

This premises licence variation was key to the pub’s plans, but sat in a cumulative impact policy area

Man drinking alone in a pub
Premises licence legal expert. Partner James Anderson has helped obtain 1000s of premises licence variations across England and Wales


Once a premises has its premises licence in place, the management of the premises often apply for a premises licence variation.

These are very common applications. Because they allow you to make changes to the way your premises trades.

For example, you can make a premises licence variation application to increase your trading hours for selling alcohol. To move your bar area. Or, to remove what is known as a ‘restaurant condition’. This is when you can only sell alcohol with a substantial meal. Whereas many premises like to have a bar area where you can sell alcohol to customer without a meal.

A recent premises licence variation example

The Founders Arms public house in London is a very successful pub. It sits on the South Bank Thames Path adjacent to the Tate Modern, the redeveloped Blackfriars Station, and the Millennium Bridge.

The owners wanted to take advantage of the booming local area and asked licensing solicitor James Anderson to manage the premises licence variation to double the size of the premises.

But the challenge was that The Founders Arms is based within London Borough Southwark cumulative impact zone. These zones are designated areas where evidence has indicated that the existing licensed premises are negatively impacting on the four licensing objectives.

So, unless you can show exceptional circumstances within your premises licence variation application, you plans will be refused.

Result to the application

Over 70 representations (objections) from mainly local residents were received. Evidence submitted related to concerns about increased disturbance by more people leaving the premises late at night.

At a licensing committee hearing, licensing solicitor James Anderson successfully argued for the premises licence variation by demonstrating how the operator would minimise issues. This centred around the noise and disturbance of food / drink deliveries and the issues of increased bin areas.

Plus, and this cannot be underestimated – James Anderson drafted a highly detailed dispersal procedure and strong operating practices.

Fundamentally arguing that the premises could double the inside without impacting the outside.

The Licensing Committee agreed and granted the application subject to minor conditions.

For find the right specialist licensing solicitor to help you with your plans, choose one here licensing solicitors

To read more about premises licence variations, see here:

And if you would like to find out if an area has a cumulative impact area, you can use this free tool: CizApp.

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