Q&A Operating a licence when works not completed

  • Date: 08 October 2015
  • Author/Solicitor: Steve Burnett
  • Source: Reproduced from the Publican's Morning Advertiser

Q:  I submitted an application to change the layout of my pub, but I thought whilst doing this, I would also maximise my trade by extending late night refreshment by 1 hour to end at 12am.  The application was granted, but a Licensing Officer visited and advised me that I could not serve hot food after 11pm as the works at the premises had not been done.  Is this correct?

A:  As you will be aware, the plans form an integral part of the Premises Licence and must therefore be an accurate reflection of the current layout of the premises.  If not, and you trade, then you will run the risk of operating “otherwise than in accordance” with your Premises Licence, which would be a criminal offence. 

In reality, you should complete the works which would then allow you to operate under your amended licence. 

However, it seems as though the Licensing Officer is being very particular, and you may wish to speak to them to see if they will take a more pragmatic approach and allow you to trade that extra hour. 

In future you may wish to distinguish the times when different aspects of your applications have effect, or indeed make separate applications, so that you can trade extended hours immediately whilst your building works are ongoing.  

In any event, it seems as though this is a matter where you might benefit from legal advice