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Premises licence

A premises licence, or a club premises certificate, is a permanent licence granted for a specific location, that authorises the holder to carry on any of the following licensable activities:

  • the sale by retail of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by a club to its members and guests
  • the provision of regulated entertainment, including plays, films, indoor sports, boxing or wrestling (indoor or outdoor) music and dancing
  • the sale of late night refreshment - hot food or drink supplied between 11pm and 5am

There are certain types of entertainment that you don't need a licence for under the Licensing Act 2003 and please do email us if you would like further information about this.

You will still need a licence even if the activities are for charity.

If you want to carry out licensable activities at an event lasting for less than seven consecutive days that is for less than 499 people you can apply for a temporary event notice.

If you are a qualifying members club then you have the option of applying for a club premises certificate instead of a premises licence.

Changes to an Existing Premises Licence

If you wish to make a variation or any other changes to an existing Premises Licence then please refer to our Changes to Premises Licence page.


The fees are set nationally and are based on the rateable value of the premises. The appropriate fee will need to be submitted with your application.

Duration of Licence

Please be aware that a premises licence will lapse if the holder of the licence:

  • dies
  • becomes a person who lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to hold the licence,
  • becomes insolvent,
  • is dissolved, or
  • if it is a club, ceases to be a recognised club.
  • ceases to be entitled to live and work in the UK. 

An interim authority notice or Transfer application must be submitted within 28 days in order to reinstate the licence or a New Premises Licence application will need to be made.

Otherwise most premises licences have an unlimited duration, unless they are revoked but you will have to pay an annual fee.

Annual Fees

You will need to pay an annual fee for your premises licence.  This fee will be due each year on the anniversary of the date your licence was first granted. 

Annual fees are based on the non-domestic rateable value of the property and the fee will stay the same each year unless the rateable value of the property changes.  Please refer to the above Costs section for further details.

We will send an invoice for the annual fee to the Premises Licence holder around a month before the fee is due.  The invoice will tell you the date by which you will need to have paid the fee.

If you haven't had an invoice from us and you think your annual fee is due please email us and we will check this for you.

Failure to pay the annual fee by the due date will result in the premises Licence being suspended until the fee has been paid.

What you need to do

You can apply for a premises licence online. You will need to include:

  • Your details
  • Details of the licensable activities you want to provide at the premises and the times when you would like to be able to provide them
  • Your opening hours

Information we need to accompany your application

Operating Schedule

  • This should be specific to the individual application
  • Be sufficiently comprehensive to enable the Licensing Authority and other responsible authorities to consider the application fully
  • Address the expectations contained within the Plymouth City Council statement of licensing policy
  • To demonstrate the steps to be taken to promote the licensing objectives:
    • The prevention of crime and disorder
    • Public safety
    • The prevention of public nuisance
    • The protection of children from harm
  • Your operating schedule should include proposed licence conditions reflect how you intend to promote these licensing objectives (Further guidance can be found in the 'Pool of licensing conditions' document)

Operating schedule

Premises plan

  • the boundary of the building, including external and internal walls
  • the location of points of access to and egress from the premises
  • if different from above, the escape routes from the premises
  • if the premises is used for more than one existing licensable activity, the area within the premises used for each activity (Including alcohol serving/storing areas)
  • any fixed structures (including furniture) which may restrict the use of exits or escape routes
  • if premises include a stage, the location and height of each stage
  • the location of any steps, stairs or lifts
  • location of toilets
  • location and type of any fire safety or other safety equipment
  • kitchen

Plans guidance

When you apply for a premises licence for the sale/supply of alcohol you will need to name someone who will be the designated premises supervisor (DPS).  This person will be responsible for authorising the alcohol sales at the premises and must hold a personal licence. 

There are responsibilities involved with being a DPS, please view the document below. A consent form signed by the proposed DPS must be submitted with all new alcohol premises licence applications.

Right to Work Documents

Copies of documents demonstrating a right to work in the UK for every individual applicant and every applicant applying as part of a partnership.  These will need to be attached to your application. Please see below guidance document for documents required.

Rights to work guidance

As part of the application you will need to advise the dates in which the application has been advertised and upload a copy of your advert, as per the below requirements.

  • display an A4, pale blue notice which can read outside the premises. For large buildings, the notice must be repeated every 50m. for 28 days starting from the day after the day of the application
  • publishing a notice in a local newspaper within 10 working days, starting on the day after making the application

Advertising guidance and templates for the site notice and newspaper are available below.

Advertising guidance

Press notice

Site notice

Responsible authorities list

Applicants are required to submit the original licensing application to the licensing authority and send a full copy of the application (including plans) to each of the following responsible authorities.

Where an application, or any part of it, is submitted in writing it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that a full copy of the application (including plans) has been sent to each of the following responsible authorities numbered 1 to 9.

Where an application (for a premises licence, club premises certificate (or variations to the same) or provisional statements or Temporary Event Notice) has been submitted electronically copies of the application will be forwarded to the relevant responsible authorities by the Licensing Authority.

Office of The Director of Public Health, Licensing Department Public Protection Service, Plymouth City Council, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ

Tel: 01752 304141


Responsible Authorities – Contacts

(Non-emergency calls only)

Safeguarding Team
Children Young People and Families
Plymouth City Council
Midland House
Notte Street,
Tel: 01752 306340

Devon and Cornwall Police
Police Licensing Team
Launceston Police Station
Moorland Road
Launceston, Cornwall
PL15 7HY
Tel: 01566 770500

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service
West Devon Headquarters
Glen Road
Tel: 01752 333600

Environmental Health Authority
Public Protection Service
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House
Tel: 01752 304147

Trading Standards
Public Protection Service
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House
Tel: 01752 304147

Health and Safety Executive
North Quay House
Sutton Harbour
Fax: 01752 226024

Planning Authority
Development Consents Manager
Plymouth City Council,
Level 2 West Wing
Ballard House
Tel: 01752 304471

Health Authority
Office of the Director of Public Health
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House
Tel: 01752 398616

Home Office (Immigration Enforcement)
Alcohol Licensing Team
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road

In relation to vessels responsible authorities also include navigation authorities within the meaning of S. 221(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991 that have statutory functions in relation to the waters where the vessel is usually moored or berthed or any waters where it is proposed to be navigated when being used for licensable activities

Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Plymouth Marine Office
Suite 5,
Endeavour House
Vivid Approach,
Tel: 020 390 85245


An application for a Premises Licence will not relieve an applicant of the need to apply for planning permission, building control approval of the building work, or in some cases both planning permission and building control.

There are circumstances when as a condition of planning permission, a terminal hour has been set for the use of premises for commercial purposes. Where these hours are different to the licensing hours, the applicant must observe the earlier closing time. Premises operating in breach of their planning permission would be liable to prosecution under planning law.

For further information visit the Planning/building control pages.

Review of a licence

A responsible authority or any other person can in certain circumstances apply for a review of a current premises licence or club certificate if a premises does not promote the four licensing objectives. 

Following a review a premises may have changes made to their licence or in extreme cases be closed down.

If you want to call for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate you will need to read our guide to a review pages.