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Licensing Act 2003 toolkit

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The objective of the Toolkit is to provide the public with an interest in the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 with a dedicated resource of information and guidance.

The resource may be of interest to anyone but especially owners of commercial premises covered by the licensing requirements of the Act.

The Licensing Act 2003 marks the end of six independent licensing regimes and amalgamates them into one single system promoting four statutory objectives:
  1. Prevention of crime and disorder
  2. Promotion of public safety
  3. Prevention of public nuisance
  4. Protection of children from harm

The Act lists four licensable activities, which are to be regulated by the provisions of the Act.  These in brief are:
  1. The sale by retail of alcohol
  2. The supply of alcohol by clubs
  3. the provision of regulated entertainment logo - Word Document Logo (pdf 26kB)
  4. the provision of late night refreshment logo - Word Document Logo (pdf 21kB)

Licensable activities may only be carried on under and in accordance with a premises licence, temporary event notice or club premises certificate.  If you intend to carry on a licensable activity please make application using the toolkit below.

North Devon Council's Licensing Act 2003 policy (pdf 425kb) PDF logo has been updated with effect 7 January 2014. The latest revision is a joint policy between North Devon and Torridge District Councils as part of a closer working relationship between the two authorities. For those interested in the main policy changes please see our Christmas 2013 newsletter (under the local licensing newsletter link below).

North Devon Council, as a Licensing Authority, is responsible for authorising the public exhibition of films. Section 20 of the Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) provides that where a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate authorises the exhibition of a film(s), the licence must include a condition requiring the admission of children to films to be restricted in accordance with recommendations given either by the British Board of Film Classification (the BBFC) or by the Licensing Authority itself.

The Council has adopted a Policy  logo - Word Document Logo (pdf 81kB)which sets out the principles the authority will considering the determination of previously unclassified films, appeals by distributors against the British Board of Film Classification’s decisions or requests to reclassify films.

Latest news

Topical information regarding the latest developments relating to the Licensing Act 2003, currently with reference to the FIFA World Cup Licensing Hours Order, The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013, The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and The Live Music Act 2012 can be found here.

Personal licences due for renewal 2015

In light of their failed attempt to bring in timely legislation to remove the need to renew personal licences before the first batch of licences issued ten years ago expire, the Government has now launched a Factsheet for Licence Holders. (pdf 110kB) PDF logo In essence those licence holders with personal licences expiring from February 2015 will no longer have to complete a full application. The Government has approved secondary legislation to enable applications to be made free of charge on a simplified form. Applicants will need to provide their licence or a copy, but will not need to submit photographs or a Basic Disclosure. Applications will be able to be made by post or email. The application form (pdf 76kB) PDF logo has now been received from the Government and the form can be used from 5 January 2015. You can also apply onlineexternal link.

What the Toolkit covers

The Toolkit will be regularly updated and includes the following:

Further information

Important - planning consent

It is important that licence holders wishing to vary their licences ensure that they have the necessary planning consent before making an application. Planning can be contacted on 01271 388288.

Sunday trading hours has further information on Sunday trading.External link

PRS for Music

You may need a music licence with the Performing Right Society Ltd (PRS for Music)

If your customers, visitors or employees are listening to copyright music on your premises, you should ensure that you hold the necessary permission under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

PRS for Music was set up by songwriters, composers and music publishers to manage their rights on their behalf. A PRS Music Licence grants you the legal permission to play millions of songs. To find out more about licensing requirements and copyright law please visit Gov.UKexternal website.

For more information or to buy a Music Licence from PRS for Music please contact:

Copyright House
22-23 Berners Street

PRS for Musicexternal website

Telephone: 0800 068 4828


Please note that if you use recorded music in public (including a workplace), you will also legally require a licence from PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd). external website

PPL is a not -for-profit organisation that manages the rights of performers and record companies.

Street parties and fetes

If you are planning to hold a street party, fete or similar in your local community, in addition to considering any licensing implications, you may also need to apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (in order to temporarily close any affected main roads). More information about how to apply for a road closure is available from Devon County Councilexternal link.

You may also need to consider insurance and whether or not a risk assessment should be undertaken, depending on the nature of your proposed event. More information and advice is available from the Department for Communities and Local Governmentexternal link.

Additional advice is available from the following websites:

Contact information

To contact the Customer Service Centre:

Telephone: 01271 388870
For Typetalk: precede with 18001
Text: 07624 804042
Fax: 01271 388451
Web form: send us a web enquiry
Join the conversation on Twitterexternal website
Compliment, complaint or suggestion? Your feedback

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Licence applications, notices etc should be sent to:

The Licensing Team
Environmental Health and Housing
North Devon Council
Civic Centre
North Walk
EX31 1EA

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