The government has introduced a new, streamlined process for making minor changes to premises licences and club premises certificates. The minor variations procedure will allow low impact changes that would not undermine the licensing objectives to take place without the need for the full variation application procedure.  The licensing objectives are:

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

 Minor variations will generally fall into four categories:

  • minor changes to the structure or layout of the premises
  • small adjustments to licensing hours (but cannot be used to extend hours for the sale or supply of alcohol)
  • the removal of out of date, irrelevant or unenforceable conditions or the addition of volunteered conditions
  • the addition of certain licensable activities (for example, adding the live music activity to a premises licence that is already providing other licensable activities at that time or is already open)

An application for a minor variation must be made on a prescribed form which can be obtained from the us. 

The Licensing Manager, Licensing Service, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL

The fee of £89 must accompany the application for a minor variation of premises licence or club premises certificate. 

Under the minor variation process the applicant is not required to advertise their application in a newspaper or serve copies of the application on the responsible authorities. The applicant however must display a notice at the premises. The notice for the minor variation application is white to distinguish it from the blue notices used for full variations and grant applications. The notice must comply with the requirements set out in the regulations.  More on the public notice including copies of blank notices for your use can be found later in this guidance.  Please note there are separate notices depending on if the application relates to a premises licence or a club premises certificate.

On receipt of the application for a minor variation the licensing authority must consider whether the application could impact adversely on the licensing objectives.

In considering the application, we will consult relevant responsible authorities if there is any doubt about the impact of the variation on the licensing objectives. The responsible authorities will be able to offer specialist advice. For example, we may need to consult environmental health about possible noise nuisance problems if we received an application to add an activity or extend hours for regulated entertainment.  We may consult with the Home Office (Immigration Enforcement) if we consider there to be a Home Office interest in the application. We must take their views into account in reaching a decision. There is no requirement to consult all the responsible authorities on each application.

We must consider any relevant representation received from an interested party. Interested parties have 10 working days starting from the day after we receive the application to make their representation. The representation is only relevant if it clearly relates to the likely effect of the grant of the variation on at least one of licensing objectives.

We must allow the 10 working day period to expire before making a decision but must do so at the latest within 15 working days, beginning on the first working day after we received the application.

There is no right to a hearing in the case of minor variations.

If we fail to respond to the applicant within 15 working days, the application is treated as refused and the application and fee must be returned. We may agree with the applicant that an undetermined application should be treated as a new application and the fee originally submitted will be treated as the fee for the new application.

Where an application is refused and is re-submitted through the full variation process, the full 28-day period will apply from the date the new application is received. The normal process for full variations should be followed (application copied to responsible authorities, blue notice displayed and advertised in a newspaper).

The overall test is whether the proposed variation could impact adversely on the licensing objectives.

An application for a minor variation must not be made to vary a premises licence to:

  • extend the period for which the licence has effect
  • vary substantially the premises to which it relates – may warrant new full application
  • specify an individual as the premises supervisor
  • add the sale by retail of alcohol as an activity – normally warrants new full application
  • authorise the sale by retail of alcohol between 11pm and 7am or
  • an increase in the amount of time on any day during which alcohol may be sold by retail or supplied

Please contact us on 01395 517411 for further information.

Display of notice

You will need to advertise a minor variation application for premises licences and for club premises certificates by placing a public notice on the outside of the premises. There no requirement for a notice to be placed in a newspaper.

The notice must be displayed for a period of not less than 10 working days, starting on the day after the day on you give the application to us (for example, if you hand in your application on a Friday then the start date of the 10 working day period will generally be the following Monday unless the Monday is a bank holiday when it would be the Tuesday). The notice must be:

  •  at least A4 in size
  • white in colour (not pale blue as required for a full variation application)
  • printed legibly or typed in black ink in a font equal to or larger than 16

You must display the notice prominently on the premises where it can be conveniently read from the outside by passers-by. If any part of the premises abuts the public highway or other place accessible to the public for 100 or more metres in length a notice must be displayed at least every 50 metres along that part of the perimeter.  All notices must be displayed prominently at the premises to which it relates so that it can be read easily from the exterior of the premises.

Content of notice

The notice must contain the following:

If you are applying for a new premises licence or club premises certificate the notices must state the relevant licensable activities or the qualifying club activities which are proposed. If you are applying for a variation you must briefly describe the proposed variation.

In all cases the notice shall contain:

  • In the case of an application made for a minor variation to a Premises licence (Section 41A), at or near the top of the notice the heading must read Licensing Act 2003: Minor Variation of Premises Licence (printed or typed to a font size to or larger than 32)
  • For an application made for a club premises certificate (Section 86A), at or near the top of the notice the heading must read Licensing Act 2003: Minor variation of a club premises certificate (printed or typed to a font size to or larger than 32)
  • There must be a brief description of the proposed variation or variations (printed or typed in a font size equal to or larger than 16)
  • The name of the applicant or club
  • The postal address of the premises or club premises (if there is no postal address a description of the location sufficient to identify the premises)
  • The postal address and, where applicable, the web address where the our register is kept and where and when the record of the application may be inspected
  • A statement that any representation must be in writing
  • The date by which an interested party or responsible authority may make representations to us (within the 10 working days from the working day after the working day we receive the application)
  • That it is an offence knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement in connection with an application and the maximum fine for which a person could be liable on summary conviction for the offence (scale 5 on the standard scale which is currently £5,000)

Public notice template:

You can print off a template public notice which you'll need to fill in with details of your application.

The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only. They are not a full and authoritative statement of the law and do not constitute professional or legal advice. Any statements on these pages do not replace, extend, amend or alter in any way the statutory provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 or any sub-ordinate legislation made under it or statutory guidance issued in relation to it. We accept no responsibility for any errors, omissions or misleading statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages refer.  In particular, it must be noted that, although East Devon District Council has made every effort to ensure that the information in these pages is correct, changes in the law and the nature of implementation mean that the information in these pages cannot be guaranteed as accurate.