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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

Vertical Drinking Establishments

The Council will scrutinise particularly closely any applications which appear to be for premises operated in such a manner as to encourage excessive and/or binge drinking, including vertical drinking establishments.

Large capacity "vertical drinking" premises, sometimes called high volume vertical drinking establishments (HVVDs), are premises with high capacities, used primarily or exclusively for the sale and consumption of alcohol, and have little or no seating for patrons. Research shows that the environment within such establishments can have a significant bearing on the likelihood of crime and disorder arising on the premises. Key points on preventing crime and disorder include:

  • controlling the capacity to prevent overcrowding and frustration to customers
  • ensuring adequate seating for customers
  • ensuring the provision of door security teams at the premises to control capacity and ensure already drunk or disorderly individuals are not admitted

Where necessary and appropriate, conditions will be attached to premises licences for the promotion of the prevention of crime and disorder at such premises (if not volunteered by the venue operator and following representations made on such grounds), which require adherence to:

  • a prescribed capacity
  • an appropriate ratio of tables and chairs to customers based on the capacity
  • the presence of SIA registered security teams to control entry for the purpose of compliance with the capacity limit and to deny entry to individuals who appear drunk or disorderly or both