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Variation of a Premises Licence

Licence Summary

A premises licence holder may apply to the Licensing Board for a variation of the licence.

Eligibility Criteria

A premises licence holder may apply for the variation of the licence.

Regulation Summary

Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

An application must be accompanied by

  • the premises licence to which the application relates, or it that is not practicable, as statement of reasons for failure to produce the licence.

There a two types of variation under the Act:

  • a variation and
  • a minor variation

A variation , in relation to a premises licence, means any variation of: -

  1. any of the conditions to which the licence is subject (other than the Mandatory Conditions)
  2. any of the information contained in the operating plan
  3. the layout plan, or
  4. any other information contained or referred to in the licence

and includes and addition, deletion or other modification.

A minor variation  means: -

  1. a variation of the layout plan, if the variation does not result in any inconsistency with the operating plan,
  2. where, under the operating plan, children or young persons are allowed entry to the premises, any variation reflecting any restriction or proposed restriction of the terms on which they are allowed entry to the premises,
  3. any variation of the information contained in the licence relating to the premises manager (including a variation so as to substitute a new premises manager).

With regard to a variation application, the Licensing Board will give notice of the application, together with a copy of it, to the following:

  • every person who has a notifiable interest in the land neighbouring the premises
  • any community council for the area the premises is situated
  • the chief constable for the area
  • the Fire Authority.

Application Evaluation Process

If the variation sought is a minor variation, the Board must grant the application.

In any other case, the Licensing Board must hold a hearing for the purpose of considering and determining the application.

Where a hearing is held, the Board must consider whether any of the grounds for refusal apply and: -

  1. if none of them apply, the Board must grant the application,
  2. if any of them apply, the Board must refuse the application.

The grounds for refusal are -

  • there are no exceptional circumstances for allowing the sale of alcohol on the premises during a continuous period of  24 hours or more;
  • the application requests the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises before 10.00, after 22.00 or both on any day;
  • the applicant has had another application refused within the last 12 months;
  • the granting of the application would be inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives;
  • Having regard to: the nature of the activities proposed, the location, character and condition of the premises and the types of people likely to visit the premises, it is decided that the premises are unsuitable for use for the sale of alcohol; and
  • that having regard to the number and capacity of (i) licensed premises, or (ii) licensed premises of the same or similar description as the subject premises, in the locality in which the subject premises are situated, the Board considers that, if the application was granted there would be overprovision of licensed premises or licensed premises of that description in the vicinity.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No.  It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it.  You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

Apply online

You will soon be able to apply for this service using the ELMS portal system supplied by the IL Government's Department of Business Innovation and Skills.  Once that system is made available and has been tested, links will appear on this page.

Failed Application Redress

The applicant can appeal by way of stated case to the Sheriff Principal.

Appeals can only be made under the following grounds:

(a) that, in reaching the decision, the Licensing Board -

  1. erred in law
  2. based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  3. acted contrary to natural justice
  4. used their discretion in an unreasonable manner or

(b) where the decision is to take any of the steps mentioned below, that the step taken is disproportionate in all the circumstances.

Those steps are:

(a) at a review hearing in respect of a premises licence -

  1. issuing a written warning
  2. revoking or suspending the licence, or
  3. making a variation of the licence, or

(b) making an order revoking, suspending or endorsing a personal licence.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the vent of a complaint the first contact is made with the licence holder by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK,  will give you advice.  From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

Any person may apply to the Licensing Board for a review of the licence.  Grounds for review are that one or more of the conditions attached to the Premises Licence have been breached or for any other ground relevant to one or more of the licensing objectives.  A hearing must be held in relation to the application for review.


Any person may object to an application or make representations in support of an application, modifications to application or conditions to be added to a licence, by way of notice to the Licensing Board.

Back to the Licensing home page.


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