Business and Planning Act 2020

22/7/20: From today, you can apply for a pavement licence to trade outside and off-sales are automatically added to all premises licences.

The following update is provided by Licensing Defence Barristers www.licensingdefencebarristers.co.uk

The Business and Planning Bill received Royal Assent today and is now law. The provisions of the 2020 Act comes into effect immediately.

The 2020 Act includes measures intended to support specific sectors of the economy affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent safety measures introduced by the Government to limit the spread of the virus. The Act:

• Establishes a new fast-track procedure by which cafes, pubs and restaurants in England may apply for temporary permission from local authorities to put chairs and tables outside their premises.
• Temporarily allow licensed premises in England and Wales to make ‘off-sales’ regardless of whether this is currently allowed in their alcohol licence.

Automatic Off-sales

From today (22 July 2020), all premises licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003 will be able to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises (take away). Off-sales entitlement is automatically added to all premises licences by virtue of section 11 of the Business and Planning Act 2020.

The only exception to the automatic entitlement is if your premises licence (section 11(8)), in the last three years from 22 July 2020, has:

1. Had an application for off-sales refused either as a new or variation application; or
2. You applied to exclude off sales from your premises licence

Restrictions

Where you qualify for automatic off-sales entitlement, every off-sale must be made at a time when the licensed premises are open for the purposes of selling alcohol for
consumption on the premises.

What about conditions and other restrictions?

A premises licence might be subject to a number of other restrictions that might conflict with the automatic entitlement for off-sales such as conditions, non-standard timing and other restrictions.

However, the amendments brought in by the 2020 Act includes “Any provisions of the premises licence … suspended in so far as they are inconsistent with” the automatic off-sales entitlement.

By virtue of the above, any conditions that would limit or restrict the automatic off-sales entitlement would be suspend for the “relevant period”.

Government Guidance can be found here