Commercial Licensed Premises Property Law

If you own a bar, café or restaurant, and are applying for a new licence, varying an existing licence or whether your premises is the subject of a review, you need practical legal advice to enable you to obtain the best possible result. Brewer Harding & Rowe’s licensing solicitors specialise in alcohol and entertainment licensing. We deal with licences for pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, shops and gambling establishments.

Our lawyers have had many years of experience in dealing with all aspects of licensed premises across North Devon. For advice on premises licensing issues regarding public houses, nightclubs and restaurants please make an appointment with one of our Licensing solicitors at your most convenient office in either Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton or Ilfracombe.

Alcohol and Leisure Law

The Licensing Act 2003 has had a dramatic effect on the control and administration of alcohol licensing for all venues selling alcohol, providing regulated entertainment and late night refreshment a more regulated and proactive control of all licensed premises.

Licensing Costs

We understand that one of the main concerns clients have at the outset of a matter is the costs involved. Accordingly, in the vast majority of cases, we are willing to agree a fixed fee with you from the beginning. The following is an indication of the likely costs involved for the vast majority of applications:

  1. Variation of existing licence – costs are likely to range from between £300 plus VAT to £750 plus VAT;
  2. Application for a new licence – costs are likely to range from between £750 plus VAT to £1,750 plus VAT.

The exact level of that fixed fee will depend upon a number of factors specific to your matter, including the number of responsible authorities involved, the number of interested parties, the number (if any) of objections to the application, whether a hearing is required to decide the application.

For the above fee, we will:

  • Taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application;
  • Advising you as the type of plans you are required to submit with your application;
  • Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans;
  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority;
  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority;
  • Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper;
  • Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003
  • Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself;
  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

The fee does not include:

  • Obtaining suitable plans;
  • Attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting;
  • Dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties;
  • Advising on varying the licence;
  • Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.


In addition to the fees highlighted above, there will also be disbursements payable. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee.

The disbursements will include:

  • Application fee - This is payable to the relevant licensing authority. The exact fee will vary depending on the individual premises because it is based on the rateable value. However, the vast majority of fees are likely to range between £100 and £2,540.
  • Advertising fee – It is likely to be necessary to advertise the application in the local paper. A fee of somewhere in the region of £150 is likely to be payable.

We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.


Matters usually take between 10 and 24 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.