Alcohol licensing

The Licensing Act 2003

Sale of alcohol


Licensing authorities

Hampshire County Council is not a licensing authority. You must apply to the Council where the premise is situated.

How the Act affects you

The Act affects any person who: 

  • sells alcohol
  • provides (Regulated) entertainment
  • provides late night refreshments
  • makes licensing applications

Each premise requires two types of licence: 

  • a premise licence – specific to the address (apply to the District Council where the premise is situated)
  • a personal licence – specific to a person and transportable (apply to the District Council where you live)

Hampshire County Council is not a licensing authority.

A Personal Licence only allows the holder to sell alcohol from premises that have a Premise Licence. All Premise Licences must have an identified Personal Licence Holder who is known as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) who will usually be responsible for the day-to-day running of the premise. It is advisable that there is more than one person with a personal licence at a premise in order to cover for absences, holidays etc.

Every new application and variation of premise licence application in Hampshire must be copied to Trading Standards (and all responsible authorities) at the same time it is submitted to the District Council.


The applicant will need to discuss the objection with whoever made the objection, to try to resolve which criteria they have failed to meet. If this cannot be resolved then the licensing authority must hold a hearing to consider the grounds for objection. It may then modify the licence, impose conditions or even refuse the licence or variation.

Responsible authorities need to be notified

A number of specified ‘responsible authorities’ are required to be notified of all licence variations and new applications. These responsible authorities include the police, environmental health service, child protection service, fire and rescue, trading standards and from April 2012 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Each responsible authority can make representations regarding licence variations and new applications.

For example Trading Standards might make a representation that under 18s are excluded from the premises due to a history of illegal sales and poor controls regarding sales of alcohol to under 18s.

Further considerations
  • Ensure compliance with all current Trading Standards Legislation, particularly in respect of Weights and Measures, Food Standards, Prices and authenticity of product
  • Provide appropriate training to staff to ensure compliance with the legislation
  • Keep appropriate records if necessary to demonstrate training and any other steps taken to ensure compliance

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has re-iterated its warning to businesses to register use of CCTV equipment at their premises following prosecution of a bar owner who failed to do so.

A Lancashire bar owner was recently prosecuted by the ICO for failing to register his premises' use of CCTV despite several reminder letters from the ICO. The operator was fined £100 and ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs by Blackpool Magistrates along with an additional £15 victim surcharge.

Licensee should be aware that under the Data Protection Act notification is a legal requirement for organisations processing and collecting CCTV images. Therefore it is important that businesses who operate CCTV equipment notify the ICO, as failure to notify is a criminal offence.