Licensing Act 2003

In England and Wales, the Licensing Act 2003 is the legislation used to license premises in their sale of alcohol. It is the basis of alcohol laws and sets out the rules any business selling alcohol must follow. It also regulates certain forms of entertainment including indoor sport, films and live performance.

It is based on the following four objectives:

  • preventing crime and disorder
  • preventing public nuisance
  • promoting public safety
  • protecting children from harm

Licensing decisions

The Council has created a licensing policy (PDF File, 1,031kb), setting out our approach to dealing with applications for personal and premises licences.

When the licensing committee or sub-committee consider applications, they must take into account:

  • our licensing policy
  • the Licensing Act 2003
  • guidance issued by the home office under the act

We have a duty to publish a register listing premises that have licences and details of personal licences (PDF File, 2,464kb).

Find out more about the types of licence we issue and which businesses need a premises licence.