Licensing Act 2003 & Licensing Policy

Under the Licensing Act 2003, any premises or place where licensable activities will take place will need to be covered by a licence or notice. Licence holders will be responsible for the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Coronavirus - Covid19

Following government advice the Licensing Office is currently closed. Officers are still available via or via the main switchboard on 01279 655261. 


The Licensing Act 2003 requires the Licensing Authority to determine and publish its Licensing Policy at least every 5 years. The Statement of Licensing Policy sets out the principles that the authority will apply when exercising its functions under the Licensing Act 2003.

The following activities are required to be licensed:

  1. The sale of alcohol.
  2. The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club.
  3. The provision of regulated entertainment.
  4. Late night refreshment (the provision of hot food and drink between 11pm and 5am).


  • A Personal Licence to Sell Alcohol allows the holder to sell alcohol at venues covered by a "premises licence"
  • A Premises Licence & Club Premises Certificates will be required by anyone wanting to allow certain licensable activities to take place such as sale of alcohol, music, dancing, indoor sports events, theatre, cinema and sale of food between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.00am. Applicants will need to demonstrate what they will do to prevent public nuisance, prevent crime and disorder, ensure public safety and protect children from harm.
  • A Temporary Event Notices (TEN) can be used instead of a licence for regulated activities (supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment, and late night refreshment) at small-scale event of not more than 499 people, and lasting less than 168 hours.

Licensing Policy

The previous revision of the policy was determined in December 2014 so was not due for review until 2019. However, the authority assessed that policy and took the decision to review the policy early as it is believed that there are emerging issues that should be addressed. In particular, the links between alcohol misuse and its impact on public health. To see the latest policy, click Statement of Licensing Policy

Through the implementation of its licensing policy, East Herts Council aims to effectively integrate its aims and the four licensing objectives with other initiatives that will:

  • Reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour
  • Promote public safety
  • Prevent public nuisance
  • Protect children from harm
  • Promote public health
  • Reduce drug and alcohol misuse
  • Reduce the burden of unnecessary regulation on business

Applicants, licence holders and those selling or supplying alcohol, providing late night refreshment or regulated entertainment should refer to the policy as it will give them a clearer understanding of what is expected of them. The policy encourages responsible businesses and operators whilst giving the authority a strong basis to deal with issues that may arise from activities authorised under the Licensing Act 2003.

The revised policy came into force on August 1st 2016 and it will be referred to in relation to all applications under the Licensing Act 2003 made after that date.

The policy is kept under constant review so if you have any comments please submit them in writing to: or by post to: Licensing, East Herts Council, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8EQ.

Licensing Decision Making relating to the Night Time Economy

In recent years there has been an increase in proposals related to the night time economy (NTE), that is, the economic activity taking place in the evening, such as eating and drinking, entertainment and nightlife, broadly between the hours of 9pm and 5am, often seven days a week. At the same time, there appears to have been a change in the type and style of offer they provide for customers, sometimes with existing premises seeking to extend their hours of operation later into the night, for example, shifting the closing time from 2.00am to 3.00am. On occasion, applications, whether for new premises or extensions to existing operating hours, have caused concern among the local residential population regarding their quality of life.

As a result a Night Time Economy (NTE) Position Statement [221KB] has been approved as an addendum to the existing Licensing Policy. This document is aimed at making it clearer to all stakeholders how decisions regarding licence applications are made and how stakeholders can best make their views known. This document may be particularly relevant for residents who may be affected by licensable activities in the Night Time Economy.