For small changes to Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates, it may be possible to apply for a 'Minor Variation' rather than a full variation in certain circumstances. The application fee is £89 if accepted.
It may be the case that a licence holder wishes to apply extra conditions to a licence following an internal risk assessment. Also, the need for further conditions may have been identified during discussion with a Responsible Authority i.e. the Police. As long as these changes can be considered 'minor', an application for a minor variation is likely to be accepted.
Amending/ removing conditions
Conditions placed on licences either by the applicant on recommendation from a Responsible Authority or by a Licensing Committee will have been added to promote the Licensing Objectives. Therefore in most cases a full variation application will be necessary to amend or remove conditions.
However, if the conditions could be considered unnecessary (for example if the premises has changed in nature) and there would be no impact on the Licensing Objectives to remove them, a minor variation could be used. Similarly, if changes to legislation mean that the conditions have become invalid (e.g. in the case of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) a minor variation may be used to remove them.
Also, if the wording of a condition is unclear or ambiguous a minor variation may be used to resolve this as long as the effect of the condition remains the same.
Changes to plan attached to Premises Licence/ Club Premises Certificate
Minor changes to the layout of the premises could be dealt with using a minor variation. Again, the test will be whether the changes are likely to have effect on the Licensing Objectives.
Determination of application
In all circumstances, the Licensing Officer will make a decision on the application and will have to refuse it if it is believed to have an effect on the Licensing Objectives. If the application is accepted, the Licensing Officer will consult with the relevant Responsible Authorities where necessary. If no objections are made at this stage, the application will be granted and an amended licence issued. If objections are made, the application will be rejected.
The Licensing Section would encourage anyone thinking of a applying for a minor variation to contact them in the first instance.