Any premises or land that holds licensable activities on a regular basis to the public must apply for a Premises Licence. If you only hold limited activities you maybe able to apply for a Temporary Event Notice.

A Premises Licence is granted for the life of the premises, until it changes its use or is revoked.

Licensable activities for a Premises Licence

People who can apply

Any of the following may apply:

  • anyone who carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates (individual, partnership, freeholder, leaseholder or holding company)
  • a recognised club
  • a charity
  • a health service body
  • a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital
  • a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales
  • any discharging a statutory or function under Her Majesty’s prerogative
  • a person from an educational institute
  • any other permitted person.

Applicants must be over the age of 18 years old.

Making an application

Cumulative Impact Assessment

All applicants for a new premises licence, or amendments to a licence, must be aware of the requirements within the Cumulative Impact Assessment.

Medway's current Cumulative Impact Assessment ends on 30 April 2024.

We recently ran a consultation seeking your views on whether the assessment should:

  • remain as it is 
  • remain, but be amended
  • be removed.

Responses will help us decide if the current Cumulative Impact Assessment is still accurate and relevant.  

The consultation ended on Sunday 4 February 2024. We'll update this page with our decision soon.


All applications are based on the four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm.

 Premises and Land

Please make sure that the premises, land, temporary structure, vessel, vehicles, train or aircraft have the necessary permission to be used as licensed premises.

Planning issues

The use of any licensed places or premises is subject to planning controls. There are several key differences between licensing and planning control.

Licensing is concerned with the fitness of the operator and detailed issues concerning the operation and management of the premises that are not addressed by the planning process, which relates to the use of the premises.

It will be expected in general that the grant or variation of planning permission would be resolved before a licence application is made. 

The licensing committee may refuse to grant a licence following representations from the local planning authority if the:

  • activity sought to be licensed would amount to an unlawful use of the premises
  • hours being sought exceed those authorised by any planning permission.

It will be for the applicant to demonstrate any special circumstances to justify a departure from this policy in the face of representations from the local planning authority.


Most operators of licensable activities are expected to abide by the law of trespass and not seek to use public land without prior permission even though more than one licence may be granted for a parcel or land or a temporary event notice may be served for land.

If the land is owned by us you will need to seek written permission before applying for a licence as the location may already be licensed. If the land is owned by someone like a farmer then you will need to seek written permission to use the site for licensable activities.

Open land, temporary structures (marquees) and streets form part of land. 

You must clearly state the location of where you wish licensable activities are to take place with details such as:

  • name
  • the field between the roads City Way and New Road
  • the size of the area you wish to use for licensable activities, for example if you only want to use the top right hand of a 3 acre field
  • the exact location (from the river to the public walkway).

Temporary Structures

You can licence a temporary structure but the plan must show the exact location of where the structure will be positioned and the size of the structure. 

Temporary structures may include marquees, beer tents and mobile bars.

Internet and mail order sales

In considering applications for a Premises Licence involving internet or mail order sales, the place from which the alcohol is sent will require the licence: that is, the location of the stock. This means, for example, that a call centre would not be the premises to be licensed, but the warehouse from which alcohol is sent.


Where a Premises Licence is sought in connection with a boat or ship, the primary focus will be on the licensable activities and not the safe navigation of the vessel. This is covered under separate legislation. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be consulted on all applications.


Where a Premises Licence is sought in connection with the sale of alcohol from a vehicle that is parked or stationary, such as a mobile bar providing alcohol or hot refreshment, the application will be considered in relation to the place where the sales are to take place.

Trains and aircraft

Railway vehicles and aircraft on journeys are exempt from the licensing regime. However, defunct aircraft and railway carriages used or converted as restaurants and bars that remain in a fixed position will require a Premises Licence.

Licensing information

This information is not legal advice. Legislation and procedures may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the current time. It may change based on further government guidance and regulations. This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to or substitute for the relevant law.

We are happy to provide information but cannot give advice on individual applications, you can seek legal and professional advice.


For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR