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Relaxation of Late Night Refreshment Licensing

Licensing of Late Night Refreshment Relaxed

Section 71 of the Deregulation Act 2015 has come into effect permitting Licensing Authorities to relax the requirements for licensing late night refreshment in certain circumstances.

Commenting, Jonathan Smith, Managing Partner at Poppleston Allen said: “The changes to Schedule 2 of the Licensing Act 2003, governing the provision of late night refreshment, now provide that Licensing Authorities can designate a particular description of premises as not requiring permission to sell hot food and drink after 23:00, that Licensing Authorities can designate areas where premises do not need a Premises Licence to sell hot food or drink after 23:00 and, finally, Licensing Authorities can stipulate that during periods between 23:00 and 05:00, premises may trade freely for the provision of hot food and drink without the need for a licence.

The attached Guidance lists the categories of premises which a Licensing Authority can decide are exempt from requiring a licence for hot food or drink after 23:00. The Guidance also makes it clear that whilst a Licensing Authority can use more than one type of exemption, it cannot use different forms of exemption in conjunction with one another, giving the example that a Licensing Authority is not permitted to change the times premises require permission to sell hot food and drink in one geographic area only. In other words, it would have to change the hours across the entire area for the Licensing Authority.

If a premises becomes exempt from the requirement to hold a Premises Licence for the sale of hot food, but does not surrender it, there is no requirement for the Licence Holder to continue to pay an annual fee, if the Premises Licence only permits late night refreshment. Any conditions on a licence relating solely to the provision of the late night refreshment, likewise, no longer have effect”.

A link to the Guidance on the licensing of late night refreshment published by the Home Office today is attached here.

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For more information please contact Jonathan Smith

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