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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

Minor Variations

It is now possible to make small changes to premises licences or club premises certificates through the minor variation process, which is cheaper, easier and quicker than the full variation process. The test for whether a proposed variation is 'minor' is whether it could impact adversely on any of the four licensing objectives. This decision will be taken by officers, taking into account the full circumstances of the requested variation.

The process can be used for changes such as:-

  • Small changes to the structure or layout of a premises.
  • The addition of authorisation for late night refreshment or regulated entertainment such as live music, performance of plays or film exhibitions.
  • Small changes to licensing hours, but see paragraph 145 below on changes that relate to alcohol.
  • Revisions, removals and additions of conditions which could include the removal or amendment of out of date, irrelevant or unenforceable conditions, or the addition of volunteered conditions.


The Minor Variations process cannot be used to:

  • Add the retail or supply of alcohol to a licence.
  • Extend licensing hours for the sale or supply of alcohol at any time between 11pm and 7am.
  • Increase the amount of time on any day during which alcohol may be sold by retail or supplied.
  • Extend the period for which the licence or certificate has effect.
  • Transfer the licence or certificate from one premises to another, or vary substantially the premises to which it relates.
  • specify, in a premises licence, an individual as the premises supervisor.
  • Add the sale by retail or supply of alcohol as an activity authorised by a licence or certificate.
  • Disapply the mandatory conditions relating to a designated premises supervisor (there is a separate process by which community premises can apply for this).

Upon receiving the application, the licensing authority will consider whether the minor variation could impact adversely on the licensing objectives. The licensing authority will consult with relevant responsible authorities if there is any doubt about the impact of the variation on the licensing objectives and take their views into account before reaching a decision e.g. the licensing authority may consult with an Environmental Health Officer on an application with possible public nuisance implications.

In the case of minor variations, there is no right to a hearing, but licensing authorities must take any relevant representations into account in arriving at a decision. Relevant representations from responsible authorities or other persons should be received within ten working days, beginning with the day after the application is received. The licensing authority then has a further five working days to determine the application.

If a minor variation application is refused the applicant may wish to submit the application via the full variation application process.