Planning and licensing processes are separate and distinct.

It is not necessary to have planning permission for a premises prior to applying for a premises licence or club premises certificate.

However, when making applications under the Licensing Act 2003 or Gambling Act 2005 an operator must consider whether the current planning permission allows him to operate the type of business he seeks to operate and that there are no restrictions on the planning permission which could prevent that operation.

Planning issues to consider are:

  • Planning use of the building. An operator will need to ensure they are authorised to use their premises in accordance with the planning permission. Thus, if an operator buys a clothes shop and wishes to convert it to a café they will need to apply for a change of use from A1(shops) to A3(restaurants and cafes);
  • Conditions attaching to the planning permission. For example these may restrict the hours the premise can operate or require certain works to be carried out before the premises can be used;
  • Alterations to the frontage of the building. Signage, advertising, awnings etc are likely to require planning permission; &
  • Use of outside areas – the use of areas outside the premises such as pavement cafes and beer gardens may need a separate planning permission.

It may be necessary to submit an application to vary a planning permission to allow for a change of use of the building or to alter or remove conditions on the permission. Applications are submitted to the Planning Department of the Local Authority.

Failure to comply with planning permission may lead to enforcement and prosecution.

We can provide planning advice in conjunction with specialised planning consultants to ensure compliance in this strongly regulated area of legislation.

If we can assist you in any way, or if you simply want to discuss any licensing & gambling issue, please contact us at any time.