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Club Premises Certificate Guidance Notes

The Licensing Act 2003 continued to recognise members clubs e.g. the Royal British Legion, working men's, cricket or rugby clubs which are generally organisations where members join together for a particular social, sporting or political purpose and then combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for its members. The clubs carry on activities from premises to which public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit. For these reasons the 2003 Act preserved aspects of earlier alcohol licensing law which applied to 'registered members clubs' and afforded clubs special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements. There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.

Clubs which meet the specified criteria set out in the 2003 Act are known as 'qualifying clubs' and the authority under which they may supply alcohol and conduct other 'qualifying club activities' from their premises is a club premises certificate issued by the licensing authority.

To be classified as a qualifying club in relation to a qualifying club activity, a number of general conditions must be met. These are:

  • that under the rules of the club, persons may not be admitted to membership, or be admitted, as candidates for membership, to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination for membership and their admission;
  • that under the rules of the club, those becoming members without prior nomination or application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their becoming members and their admission;
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith as a club;
  • that the club has at least 25 members;
  • that alcohol is not supplied to members on the premises otherwise than by or on behalf of the club.

A club premises certificate may authorise the conduct of any of the qualifying club activities, namely:

  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to, or to the order of, members of the club;
  • the sale by retail of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to a guest of a member of the club for consumption on the premises where the sale takes place; and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (where that provision is by or on behalf of a club for members of the club or members of the club and their guests).

The grant of a club premises certificate means that a club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor.

To qualify as a club authorised to supply alcohol to its members and guests, additional conditions must be met. These are:

  • the purchase and supply of alcohol by and for the club is managed by a committee made up of elected members of the club all aged over 18 years;
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to receive any commission, percentage or similar payment at the expense of the club with reference to purchases of alcohol by the club;
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to derive directly or indirectly any monetary benefit from the supply of alcohol to members or guests apart from to benefit the club as a whole or any indirect benefit a person derives by reason of the supply contributing to a general gain for the club as a whole.

In determining whether a club is established and conducted in good faith, the licensing authority will have to look at a number of matters and take those into account. These matters are:

  • any arrangements restricting the freedom of the club to purchase alcohol;
  • any arrangements where the money or property of the club or any gain arising from the running of the club can be used for purposes otherwise than for the benefit of the club as a whole or for charitable, benevolent or political purposes;
  • the arrangements for giving members information about the finances of the club;
  • the books of account or any other records kept to ensure accuracy of that information;
  • the nature of the premises occupied by the club.

An applicant must produce:

  1. A completed adobe icon application form [279kb]. Applicants are advised to read the Government Guidance on completing the application.
  2. A plan of the premises, which must:
    (a) be drawn to standard scale of 1:100cm, unless NFDC have confirmed in writing that
    the use of an alternative scale is acceptable;
    (b) show the extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and
    internal walls of the building and, if different, the perimeter of the premises;
    (c) show the location of points of access to and egress from the premises;
    (d) show, if different from (c) above, the location of escape routes from the premises;
    (e) in a case where the premises is to be used for more than one licensable activity, show
    the area within the premises used for each activity;
    (f) show fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed
    location (but not furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals on the
    premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment;
    (g) show, in a case where the premises includes a stage or raised area, the location and
    height of each stage or area relative to the floor;
    (h) show, in a case where the premises includes any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts, the
    location of the steps, stairs, elevators or lifts;
    (i) show, in a case where the premises includes any room or rooms containing public
    conveniences, the location of the room or rooms;
    (j) show the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment including,
    if applicable, marine safety equipment; and,
    (k) show the location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises

    The plan may include a legend through which the matters mentioned above are sufficiently illustrated by the use of symbols on the plan.
  3. adobe icon Declaration for a club premises certificate to be granted [22kb] as to being a Qualifying Club
  4. Copy of the Club rules

  5. The appropriate fee

There is a requirement to advertise the application as follows:

  1. By displaying a adobe icon notice [252kb] prominently at or on the premises to which the application relates where it can be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises and in the case of a premises covering an area of more then fifty metres square, a further notice in the same form and subject to the same requirements every fifty metres along the external perimeter of the premises abbuting any highway by the public for a period of not less then 28 consecutive days (starting on the day after the day on which the application was served on us). The Notice must be:

    (i) of a size equal or larger than A4;
    (ii) of a pale blue colour; and
    (iii) printed legibly in black ink or typed in black in a font of a size equal to or larger than 16
  2. By publishing a docs icon Notice [60kb]:

    (i) in a local newspaper or, if there is none, in a local newsletter, circular or similar
    document, circulating in the vicinity of the premises;
    (ii) on a least one occasion during the period of 10 working days starting on the day after
    the day on which the application was given to the relevant licensing authority

A club operating schedule will form part of the completed application form for a club premises certificate. It should include information which is necessary to enable any responsible authority or interested party to assess whether the steps to be taken to promote licensing objectives are satisfactory.

The completed schedule will include a statement of the following matters:

(a) the relevant club qualifying activities;
(b) the times during which it is proposed that the relevant club qualifying activities are to take
place;
(c) any other times during which it is proposed that the premises are to be open to members;
(d) where the applicant wishes the licence to have effect for a limited period, that period;
(e) where the club qualifying activities include the supply of alcohol, whether the supplies are
proposed to be for consumption on the premises or off the premises, or both;
(f) the steps which it is proposed to take to promote the licensing objectives; and
(g) such other matters as may be prescribed.

Any individual preparing a schedule is at liberty to volunteer any measure as a step which they
intend to take to promote the four licensing objectives. These are then incorporated into the
licence as conditions; they then become enforceable under the Act and a breach of such could
give rise to prosecution.

Any individual preparing a schedule is at liberty to volunteer any measure as a step which they
intend to take to promote the four licensing objectives. These are then incorporated into the
licence as conditions; they then become enforceable under the Act and a breach of such could
give rise to prosecution.

Further guidance on this subject can be found within our adobe icon Statement of Licensing Policy [105kb]

The licence will not be time limited (unless requested), not subject to renewal,

On the same day you serve the application on New Forest District Council you must also serve a complete copy of the application, to each of the adobe icon Responsible Authorities Document [104kb]

Hearings on an application will only occur where representations from interest parties or responsible authorities are made. Interested parties are personas living within the vicinity of the premises, businesses within the vicinity of the premises or bodies or persons representing those interested parties.

Updated: 8 Apr 2015
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