Licensing – Changes Proposed to Procedures for Minor Amendments


The Government has announced proposals to simplify the process to vary Licensing Act Authorisations under the Licensing Act 2003. Currently, this requires licensees to apply for a new licence or variation to their existing licence in several circumstances of minor import – for example where licensable activities are varied or the plan attached to the authorisation is to be changed.
The idea is that licensing authorities should consider whether there is likely to be an impact on the licensing objectives and, if not, whether an application to vary the licence needs to be made. This should save licensees the cost of making applications for minor amendments.

The proposals for reform put forward three possible approaches:
  1. To amend the Act to introduce a new process for minor variations, broadly defined as any variation that does not impact adversely on the promotion of the licensing objectives. The decision regarding the impact of the application would be left up to the authority. This is the Government’s preferred approach.
  1. To amend the Act to introduce a new minor variations process as above, but with constraints on the freedom of discretion of the authority spelled out in the legislation.
  1. To leave the system as it is.

The consultation document can be found at The deadline for responses is 20 February 2008.

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