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Variation of an external area within the red line

Do I need to submit a variation to include an external area?

Q:  I recently had a visit from a Licensing Officer who told me that I will need to submit a variation of my premises licence to include the external area within the red line on my licensing plan.  This is because I provide waiter/waitress service for customers seated outside and they are able to pay for their drinks without having to leave their table.  Is this correct?  I am reluctant to do a variation as I have local residents extremely close to the external area and I am worried that it would attract objections even though I do not intend to have any type of entertainment out in the beer garden.

A:  The sale of alcohol takes place where the order is ‘appropriated to the contract’ i.e. where the alcohol is physically and specifically selected and the order is put together.  Therefore even if your customers order their drinks and pay for them outside, the alcohol is ‘appropriated to the contract’ at the bar or wherever the order is physically put together, inside the premises.  Consumption is not a licensable activity and as long as your premises permits the sale of alcohol for consumption ‘off’ the premises (particularly important if your beer garden is not shown on your licensing plan), there is no need for a variation.  You would however need to vary your premises licence if you decided to place a bar within the external area as obviously this would be a point of sale where the alcohol could be ‘appropriated to the contract.

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