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Extending Trade Area

Can I use my basement area for functions or busy periods?

Q:  I run a premises which is currently licensed, but there is an area in the basement which is not currently used. I was thinking of opening this up as an additional trade area for busy periods or functions and just wondered if I could do this?

A:  I am assuming that as the basement area is not being used currently that it is not shown as licensed (within the red line) on the current plans attaching to your premises licence. 

In order to trade this area you would need to make an application to your local authority to vary your premises licence to show the proposed area as being licensed on the plan, along with any fixed structures that will be included (e.g. bar area or fixed seating). 

This sounds fairly straightforward, but this is not always the case and the application may not be approved without issue – it depends on where your premises are located and the views of the authorities. 

You should firstly consider whether your premises are within a ‘Cumulative Impact Policy’ and if they are review this to see what the restrictions of the Policy are. If you are within Cumulative Impact then I would suggest that in the first instance you undertake pre-consultation with the authorities prior to submission of any application. This will allow you to seek their views and decide whether it is beneficial to proceed rather than lodging an application and coming up against objections from them. 

It is also worth considering what conditions currently appear on your Premises Licence as it is possible, if you proceed with the application, that additional conditions will be suggested, especially if yours is an old licence that does not have many conditions on it. 

The conditions requested could include things such as CCTV requirements, Staff Training, Restrictions on Vertical drinking and so on. This could mean that you would have to incur additional expense (e.g. installing CCTV if you don’t have it) or that you have to change your style of operation which may not be suitable.

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