Apply for a premises licence

To carry out licensable activities from a premises you need to apply for a premises licence.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 these licensable activities are:

  • the retail sale of alcohol
  • the provision of regulated entertainment
  • the provision of late night refreshment

The Licensing Act 2003 provides a clear focus on four statutory objectives which must be addressed when licensing functions are undertaken. These are:

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

 You may also wish to seek independent advice from a solicitor or licensing agent.

Before you apply

Before applying, please read all of the information below so you know what's needed for your application. Invalid applications will be rejected and this can cause delays. Please also read our frequently asked questions section, which we update regularly.

You should ensure that you have permission to use the premises for the activities you're applying for; ie with our planning department. Please also check that there are no other issues, such as covenants, that could affect the use of the premises. If you're unsure you may wish to seek independent advice from a solicitor or licensing agent.

Who can apply

Any person (aged 18 or over) who is carrying on, or who proposes to carry on, a business which involves the use of premises (any place, including one in the open air) for licensable activities can apply for a premises licence. This can be for a permanent basis or for a time limited period.

A 'person' in this context can be:

  • an individual
  • a business 
  • a partnership
  • a charity
  • a hospital
  • a school

Under the Licensing Act 2003 premises can be any place including:

  • a building
  • a moveable structure
  • an open space
  • a vehicle or vessel

Please note, when submitting your application make sure your form is completed correctly and accompanied by the relevant fee and supporting documents, otherwise your application may be rejected.

What your application must include

Your application must include:

The premises licence application must be advertised commencing on the day after a valid application is received by us.

If you submit your application by post, you must also submit it to each of the responsible authorities as well (see below). If your submit your application online on the GOV.UK website we'll send your application to the responsible authorities on your behalf.


All fees under the Licensing Act 2003 are set centrally by the government. Fees are based on the non-domestic rateable (NDR) value of the premises. To find out how much the non-domestic rateable value of your premises is you can enter your postcode on the Valuations Office Agency website. We'll check this when we receive your application.

Please note, your licence fee is not affected by what you're applying for.

The NDR values are divided into five bands:

Band A B C D E
Non-domestic rateable value £0 - £4300 £4301 - £33,000 £33,001 - £87,000 £87,001 - £125,000 £125,001 and over

Where premises currently have no rateable value the following will apply:

  • greenfield sites - Band A
  • construction commenced - Band C

Where premises form part of a large premises, the rateable value of the whole premises is applied. Where premises form part of a site with a number of buildings the highest rateable value will be applied.

After checking your NDR value and determining your band, the application fee for the premises licence is shown in the table below. (For example: if your premises has an NDR value of £5000 the premises is in Band B, and the application fee will be £190.)

Band A B C D E
New application and variation​ £100 £190 £315 £450 £635
Multiplier applied to premises used exclusively or primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises (Bands D and E only) N/A N/A N/A (x 2) £900 (x 3) £1905

Additional fees for large events

Exceptionally large events of a temporary nature that require a premises licence will be charged an additional fee on top of the premises licence fee as follows:

Number in attendance at any one time Additional premises licence fee Additional annual fee payable, if applicable
5000 - 9999 £1000 £500
10,000 - 14,999 £2000 £1000
15,000 - 19,999 £4000 £2000
20,000 - 29,999 £8000 £4000
30,000 - 39,999 £16,000 £8000
40,000 - 49,999 £24,000 £12,000
50,000 - 59,999 £32,000 £16,000
60,000 - 69,999 £40,000 £20,000
70,000 - 79,999 £48,000 £24,000
80,000 - 89,999 £56,000 £28,000
90,000 and over £64,000 £32,000

Annual fee

Once granted, a premises licence incurs an annual licence fee. This is paid on the anniversary of the licence being granted. We'll issue an invoice to licence holders when this is due. Failure to pay this could result in the suspension of your licence.

Band A B C D E
Annual licence fee £70 £180 £295 £320 £350
Annual charge multiplier applied to premises used exclusively or primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises (Bands D and E only) N/A N/A N/A x 2 £640 x 3 £1050

Premises plan

Your application must be accompanied by a concise and clear plan of the premises. Although ideally these should be clear architectural plans, we're happy to accept clear drawings that:

  • are of the standard scale 1mm = 100mm (unless previously agreed by us in another format). We prefer that plans are not larger than A3 in size.
  • show the location of the extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and internal walls which comprise the premises, or in which the premises is comprised.
  • show the location of points of access to and egress from the premises.
  • show the location of escape routes from the premises, if different from the above.
  • show the area within the premises used for each activity, in cases where the premises is to be used for more than one licensable activity.
  • 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.
  • in a case where the premises includes a stage or raised area, show the location and height of each stage or area relative to the floor.
  • in the case where the premises includes any room or rooms containing public conveniences, show the location of any of these.
  • show the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment including, if applicable, marine safety equipment.
  • show the location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises.
  • show where alcohol is stored on the premises, if applicable.

The plan may include a legend where indication of the above is by the use of clearly identifiable symbols and/or colours.

Evidence of right to work in the UK

All individual applicants must prove their right to work in the UK.

You can either provide evidence of your right to work in the UK (such as your birth certificate, passport or residence permit) or provide a share code from the GOV.UK right to work checking service.

Designated premises supervisor (DPS) consent

If you're applying to license a premises to sell alcohol, the premises must have a designated premises supervisor (DPS). This must be a person who holds a personal licence.

The proposed DPS must complete a designated premises supervisor (DPS) consent form which should be submitted with your application.

We'll check that information given is accurate, and will contact you if there are any issues.

Responsible authorities

Responsible authorities are public bodies that must be fully notified of applications, and that are entitled to make representations to us in respect of the application. All representations made by responsible authorities are relevant representations if they concern the effect of the application on the licensing objectives. You can see a list of the responsible authorities below.

If you submit your application via post, you must also post a copy to each of the responsible authorities. Your application is not valid until this has been completed. If you apply for a new premises licence on GOV.UK we'll serve copies on all relevant responsible authorities on your behalf within one working day. We therefore advise that you submit your application online.

Authority Address Email address
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Licensing Section
PO Box 634
S70 9FB
South Yorkshire Police The Chief Superintendent
South Yorkshire Police Licensing Department
Force Headquarters
Carbrook House
5 Carbrook Hall Road
S9 2EH
South Yorkshire Fire Service The Chief Fire Officer
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services
Dearne District Fire Safety
S70 6RA
Enforcement agency for health and safety at work Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Regulatory Services
Health and Safety Section
PO Box 634
S70 9FB
The planning authority Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Planning and Transportation
Assistant Director (Planning and Transportation)
PO Box 634
S70 9FE
Pollution control Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Regulatory Services
Pollution Control Section
PO Box 634
S70 9FB
Local weights and measures authority Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Regulatory Services
Trading Standards
PO Box 634
S70 9FB
Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership
Safeguarding Children Unit
PO Box 634
S70 9GG
Public Health Assistant Director of Public Health
PO Box 634
S70 9GG 
Home Office Alcohol Licensing Team
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road

How to apply

You must apply for a premises licence to the licensing authority for the area in which the premises is situated. You can apply online or by post.

Before you complete the application form please read through the whole document first. Also be aware of any guidance notes that are included. Regarding the licensing objectives, please see our list of basic conditions for examples of what you can include. This is a list of common conditions included in licences to ensure that the licensing objectives are met. Any information you give will be included as a condition of your licence upon it being granted.

Please make sure you complete all parts of the application where relevant and refer to our frequently asked questions section below for further advice.

Applying online

You can apply and pay online on the GOV.UK website. You'll need to download a copy of the application form and fill this in using Adobe Acrobat ReaderIf you're trying to open and complete the form on your smartphone but are unable to do this, please use a computer instead. You can use a PC free of charge at any of our library branches if you don’t have access to one. Alternatively you can print, fill in and scan a Microsoft Word version of the application form here.

As well as your application form you'll also need to upload your accompanying documents.

Please note: if you apply online we'll submit your application to the responsible authorities on your behalf.

Applying by post

We'd encourage you to apply for a new premises licence on GOV.UK, as posted applications could be lost in transit. If you do submit your application by post, we advise sending this by recorded delivery.

You can apply by post by sending your completed application form along with any accompanying documents, to: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Licensing, Legal Services, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG.

Please make sure you enclose a cheque for the correct amount, made payable to Barnsley MBC. Your application isn't valid without the inclusion of the necessary payment.

Please note: if you apply by post it's your legal responsibility as the applicant to submit a copy of your application to each of the responsible authorities.

After applying for a licence

When we receive your application we'll check that it's valid. After we've determined it's a valid application a 28-day public consultation will begin.

Advertising your application

When we've determined your application is valid we'll email you a draft copy of the blue notice for display at the premises. This is only a draft example based on your application, with the onus on you to make sure the details are correct to your application.

Blue notice (for premises display)

The blue notice must be:

  • of a size equal or larger than A4
  • on pale blue paper
  • printed legibly in black ink or typed in black in a font size equal to or larger than size 16
  • displayed prominently and immediately on or outside the premises for a period of no less than 28 consecutive days, starting on the day following the day on which the application was given to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • displayed at 50 metre intervals for properties with a frontage onto a highway more than 50 metres long
  • displayed on the barriers, obstructions or on nearby structures (such as lampposts) should access to the premises be restricted (due to fences, gates or construction barriers). As a rule of thumb, any member of the public should be able to clearly find, identify and read the blue notice without difficulty.

Content of notice (for both premises display and advertisement in local paper)

The notice should clearly contain a brief summary of the application setting out details as follows:

  • proposed relevant licensable activities to be carried out on or from the premises
  • the name of the applicant
  • the postal address of the premises (if any) or if there is no postal address for the premises a description of those premises sufficient to enable the location and extent of the premises to be identified
  • the postal address where the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council register is kept and where the record of the application may be inspected (Licensing Duty Office, Westgate Plaza, Westgate One, Barnsley, S70 2DR)
  • the dates between which members of the public and responsible authorities may make representations to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (see advertising, above)
  • a statement that representations shall be made in writing
  • a statement 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 is liable on summary conviction for the offence (£5000)

You may want to download and amend our template for a notice of application to be displayed at both the premises and advertised in a newspaper with a local circulation. Use Microsoft Word to amend the parts highlighted in yellow to make the notice relevant to your application, prior to displaying at the premises or advertising. You can use a PC free of charge at any of our library branches if you don’t have access to one. 

You must also place an advertisement in a local newspaper within ten working days of the date a valid application was received by us. A copy of this notice, once published, must be submitted to us.

Failure to advertise in a local newspaper within ten working days, or to display the blue notice for the full period, will result in the 28-day consultation period restarting.

Consultation period

Please read the premises licence approval process for further information about how all applications and changes are processed, including:

  • representations
  • mediation
  • hearing
  • appeal
  • determination


The responsible authorities have 28 consecutive days to consider the application served upon them. These are public bodies that must be fully notified of applications and that are entitled to make representations to the licensing authority in respect of the application. All representations made by responsible authorities are relevant representations if they concern the effect of the application on the licensing objectives.

When serving the application on the licensing authority, you should simultaneously serve copies of the application and the plan on all relevant responsible authorities. Your application is not valid until this has been completed. If the application is made online, we'll serve copies on all relevant responsible authorities on your behalf within one working day.

Members of the public also have a 28-day period within which to consider making a relevant representation.

We hold a hearing where valid objections or representations from responsible authorities or any other person, whether or not they live or have a business in the vicinity, are received.

A representation is not relevant if it does not directly relate to the application and to the promotion of one or more of the licensing objectives. Representations can be negative (objection) or positive (in support) of the application and must be made in writing or by email.

Granting the licence

Where no objections or relevant representations are made by responsible authorities or the public, the licensing authority must grant the premises licence on the 29th consecutive day, subject only to the mandatory conditions and the operating schedule.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent applies for this licence. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the licensing authority by the end of the target completion period of 60 calendar days.

However, if relevant representations are received, the licensing authority must hold a hearing and consider the representations, unless successful mediation has occurred.

The timescales for processing an application do not start until all the necessary information has been received in full. Tacit consent will only apply to applications that are submitted electronically via the GOV.UK website, or when the applicant can show proof of delivery from a post office or recognised courier.

Lapse or surrender of a premises licence

A premises licence lapses if the holder of the licence:

  • dies
  • becomes a person who lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to hold the licence
  • becomes insolvent
  • is dissolved

A premises licence that authorises premises to be used for a licensable activity within section 1(1)(a) or (d) of the Licensing Act 2003 also lapses if the holder of the licence ceases to be entitled to work in the UK at a time when the holder of the licence is resident in the UK (or becomes so resident without being entitled to work in the UK).

Surrendering a licence

If you no longer need your premises licence, or if the business is no longer trading, a premises licence can be surrendered by the premises licence holder.

You must give notice to us accompanied by the premises licence or, if that is not practicable, with a statement of the reasons you're unable to provide the licence.

The licence lapses when we receive your notice.

Frequently asked questions

Below are the answers to some questions we're often asked by applicants for a premises licence.

Can I give alcohol away for free as part of an offer without a premises licence?

The 'sale by retail of alcohol' is a licensable activity. However, giving alcohol away for free is not. The definition of 'sale by retail of alcohol' used by the licensing authority is that a financial transaction takes place to obtain the alcohol.

For example, if you're a hairdresser offering a free glass of champagne with every haircut, the champagne must be available to anyone entering the premises, regardless of whether they have a haircut. If the champagne is only available to paying customers there is a financial transaction requirement, and as such the alcohol is being sold. This therefore requires a licence.

If the champagne is made freely available to anyone who enters the premises, including paying customers, people booking an appointment, individuals waiting for their partner to get their haircut etc, no licence would be required.

In all cases, you'd still need to ensure that alcohol is not freely given to children or any vulnerable persons.

Do I need a premises licence for background music?

There are various exemptions to the legislation. With regard to background music, you generally won’t require a premises licence.

If music is incidental to the primary activity, it will not require a licence. For example, incidental music played in a restaurant to entertain the diners will not require a premises licence, unless the music is the main event. Another example is morris dancing, which is also exempt.

However, you may require a music licence from PPL PRS.

There are also exemptions under the Live Music Act 2012.

Even though there are various exemptions, you may still wish to apply for recorded or live music on your premises licence to cover all eventualities and give you freedom in future.

Do I need a premises licence for a one-off event?

If the event is a one-off, you should usually submit a temporary event notice to us. However, if the event takes place over more than 168 hours, or will have more than 499 attendees (including staff), you'll need to apply for a premises licence. You may wish to liaise with the us and South Yorkshire Police in advance of making an application, so that we can provide specific guidance in relation to your event.

Please note that there are certain restrictions and limits to temporary event notices.

If you regularly hold temporary events at a premises, it may be appropriate for you to apply for and maintain a premises licence. Please refer to our guidance and fees above.

Do I need a premises licence to sell food?

You require a premises licence for the sale of late-night refreshment. This is any hot food or hot non-alcoholic beverage sold between 11pm and 5am the following morning. Therefore, late night-takeaways and 24-hour fast-food restaurants have a premises licence even though they sell no alcohol.

Although you may not require a premises licence (as issued under the Licensing Act 2003), you may require a food premises licence.

I want to sell alcohol online. How should I do this?

You'll need to apply as normal, however you must put the hours for alcohol sales and opening times at 00:00–23:59 seven days a week. This is because anyone purchasing alcohol online could do so at any time, regardless of whether the premises itself is open.

You should also provide details in the 'licensing objectives' part of your application on how alcohol will be delivered. Will this be a third-party courier? If so, what contractual agreements do you have to ensure deliveries protect children from harm (ie age verification). If you're delivering alcohol yourself, what age-verification do you have in place? What happens to alcohol that cannot be delivered if someone cannot prove their age? What checks are made at point of sale online and at point of delivery?

What’s the difference between seasonal variations and non-standard timings?

Seasonal variations, for example (but not exclusively), is where the activity will occur on additional days during the summer months. Non-standard timings are, for example (but not exclusively), where you wish the activity to go on longer on a particular day, eg Christmas Eve.

You must be specific to the days and times requested, ie 'New Year’s Eve all activities extended until 1am the following morning'. We cannot accept 'when we have parties' for instance.

What is regulated entertainment?

This is defined under the Licensing Act 2003 as:

  • a performance of a play
  • an exhibition of a film
  • an indoor sporting event
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (indoor and outdoor)
  • a performance of live music
  • any playing of recorded music
  • a performance of dance
  • entertainment of a similar description to that falling within the performance of live music, the playing of recorded music and the performance of dance

But only where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided, at least partly, to entertain that audience.

If you're unsure if your activity is chosen, please email us at

What should I put in the 'licensing objectives' section?

You should read each licensing objective carefully and think of all steps that you could take to ensure that your premises licence, if granted, will not hinder any of them. For instance, to protect children from harm, you may wish to implement a Challenge 25 policy, which will ensure that anyone under the age of 18 will be unable to buy alcohol.

Anything you volunteer in this section will be added to the licence as a condition of licence upon grant.

Please consult our list of basic conditions for examples of what you can include. This is a list of common conditions included in licences to ensure that the licensing objectives are met.

Why has my application been refused?

Your application has been refused as you have not provided the full criteria required for a valid application. You may not have included a valid premises plan, for example. You should therefore double-check your application against the criteria listed on this webpage, the relevant notes on the application form, and our frequently asked questions to check what could be wrong.

If your question doesn't appear here or you wish for further guidance, please contact us at and we'll provide any assistance we can.


If you want to make a complaint about a licensed premises, please contact us by emailing