Skip to main content

Licensing Act

The Licensing Act 2003 was designed to allow greater freedom of choice for the public balanced against tougher powers for the police and Licensing Authorities such as Cheshire West and Chester Council, to deal with problem premises.

The Act covers the sale of alcoholic drinks in pubs, clubs, off licences and restaurants; the supply of alcohol in members clubs; the sale of hot drinks and/or hot food between 11pm and 5am. The Act also covers cinemas; theatres; indoor sporting events such as boxing, wrestling and martial arts; the provision of regulated entertainment including music, singing and dancing and events such as pop concerts.

Cheshire West and Chester Council review their licensing policy every three years in consultation with licence holders, residents, businesses, the police and fire authorities.

All premises involved in the sale or supply of alcohol, the provision of late night refreshments or regulated entertainments  need to a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate issued by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

To view information about the Council's Statement of Licensing Policy please see below.

Information about both types of licence can be found on this website.

Where to find help

For further information about the Licensing Act, please contact the Licensing team.

Provisional statement

Anyone who is considering opening licensed premises may apply to the Licensing Authority for a Provisional Statement. This will allow the premises to be constructed, extended or altered to allow licensable activities to take place, knowing that a full licence will be issued on completion (provided there are no material changes in the original Operating Schedule).

Community centres, educational or religious establishments and village halls

In certain circumstances community centres, educational or religious establishments and village halls that provide regulated entertainment will also require a Premises Licence. Community based/Educational premises that do not sell Alcohol are normally excluded from the requirement to pay the relevant application fee.

Appealing against the Licensing Authority

The Magistrates’ Court, which formerly controlled licensing, now hears appeals against decisions of the Licensing Authority. The Licensing Authority, Licensees, Police and other agencies work in partnership to promote the Licensing Objectives of the Act, namely:

  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • protection of children from harm

Please note
This information is provided for the assistance of applicants and other persons and represents a summary of the relevant legislation at the time of publication. Interpretation of the legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts, and applicants and other persons must take their own professional and legal advice where appropriate

For further information please refer to the pages below on this website. 


For information about Licensing Act fees please see the licensing fees area of this website.

Further information

Information about the Licensing Act can also be found on The Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.

Share this page

Terms and conditions Privacy policy Cookies Contact                      

We use cookies

Cheshire West and Chester Council use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.