Later Trading for the Christmas Period

  • Date: 03 December 2015
  • Author/Solicitor: Steve Burnett
  • Source: Reproduced from the Publican's Morning Advertiser

Q:  I run a local pub and my premises licence permits the sale of alcohol until 23:00 on each day. I have had a number of requests from my regulars to take bookings for Christmas parties and such like in the run up to the festive period, but they would like to book to stay until later in the evening. Is there any way I can accept these bookings?

A: It is good news that you have had a number of requests and I am not surprised that they would like to stay later in the run up to the festive period.

In the first instance I would suggest that you check your premises licence for any ‘non-standard timings’ which would permit you to trade later on specific dates – this is more likely to be for key dates such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve but they may allow you to extend your hours without the need for a formal application on these dates.

If the dates on which you wish to trade later are not included as non-standard timings then you would need to make an application for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) to your local authority – however, there are restrictions in relation to this type of application and so it is important that you are aware and comply with these.

Your premises will be allowed a maximum of 12 TEN’s in a calendar year (1st January to 31st December) and these must not cover more than 21 days in total (an event can cover more than 1 day). The maximum period 1 event can run for is 7 days and then there must be a 24 hour break before the next.

If for example you wanted to apply for a TEN to extend your hours from 23:00 to 00:00 then this would be 1 event and 1 day. If however, you wanted to extend from 23:00 to 01:00 then this would still be 1 event, but would count as 2 days.

It is important that you do not go over your allowance for TEN’s as your application could be rejected and you could be left with bookings that you cannot honour and unhappy customers.

Finally, for a TEN to be accepted by your local authority you should ensure that you provide them with 10 working days’ notice of the event (this should be clear days and not include the day the application is lodged or the day of the event). If you do not comply with this requirement then your application will not be accepted.

If you receive a late booking request it is possible to apply for a Late TEN with a minimum of 5 working days’ notice (but again this must be clear working days). If possible it is advisable not to make a Late application as if there are any objections to the application the authorities there is no right to a hearing  and the application is vetoed meaning that the event would not be able to go ahead.