Variation of a Premises Licence
If you hold a premises licence issued by West Lothian Licensing Board you can apply to the Board to change a detail or details contained in your licence by making an application for variation.
Please note that all the Licensing web pages are intended to guide you through the procedures associated with making an application for a licence. They are not intended to summarise relatively complex areas of the law. Anyone using these pages should obtain independent advice from their own solicitors or advice centre.
- minor variation; and
- major variation
You can find further information regarding these categories and how to make a variation application in the drop down boxes below.
There is a prescribed list of minor variations, these are:
- any variation of the layout plan in your premises licence, if the variation does not result in any inconsistency with the operating plan;
- if children or young persons are allowed entry to your premises under the operating plan in your premises licence, any variation reflecting any restriction or proposed restriction of the terms on which they are allowed entry to your premises;
- any variation of the information in your premises licence relating to the premises manager (including a variation to substitute a new premises manager);
- if the name of your premises is disclosed in your premises licence, any change in that name;
- a temporary or permanent reduction in your licensed hours which does not result in your premises opening any earlier or closing any later than stated in your premises licence and operating plan;
- in relation to the access of children and young persons, any variation of the operating plan so as to: (a) increase the minimum age at which children or young persons may be allowed onto the premises; (b) reduce the times at which children or young persons are allowed onto the premises; or (c) restrict the access of children or young persons to certain parts of the premises;
- any reduction in the capacity of your premises whether resulting from a change to your layout plan or otherwise;
- any variation resulting in the cessation of the provision of live or recorded music at a decibel level exceeding 85 decibels at your premises; and
- any variation to state that, when your premises are fully occupied, more customers are likely to be seated than standing.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you require to make a minor variation you should take legal advice from a licensing solicitor.
A major variation is any change to your operating plan or layout plan which is not a minor variation, this includes:
- variation of any of the conditions to which your licence is subject (other than the mandatory conditions detailed in your licence);
- variation of the licensed hours for your premises to permit an earlier opening time or later closing time;
- variation of the activities and services permitted on your premises (during or outwith licensed hours) as contained in the operating in your premises licence. This includes, for example, adding bar meals during core hours or recorded music during and outwith core hours; and
- increasing the capacity of your premises (see question 7 of the operating plan in your premises licence). If the alcohol sold on your premises is for customers to consume on the premises this will include, for example, an extension to your customer area. If the alcohol sold on your premises is for customers to consume off the premises this will involve a change to your alcohol display areas (shelves or fridges) that results in the frontage of your display areas increasing. The frontage of your display areas is calculated in square metres based on their width and height.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you require to make a major variation application you should take legal advice from a licensing solicitor.
You should download and complete the relevant application form from the downloads section of this page. Applications for minor or major variation can be made using the Board's application for variation of a premises licence form. Applications to nominate a new premises manager can be made using the Board's application for variation to intimate a new premises manager form. All variation applications require to be submitted with the full premises licence for the premises (premises licence, summary premises licence, operating plan or layout plan). If you cannot return the full premises licence with your application, the Board's fee for a replacement premises licence is £35.
Guidance on how to lodge your application along with information on paying the fee is contained in the notes attached to the application form.
The fee for a major variation is £100. The fee for a minor variation application is £20. The fee for a minor variation application to nominate a new premises manager is £31. If you apply to nominate a new premises manager you can include any other minor variation in your application for the same fee of £31.
By law applications for minor variation must be granted by the Board and so if you apply for minor variation your application will be processed by the Licensing Team and an updated premises licence will be issued to you accordingly.
By law applications for major variation are subject to a similar application process as applications for premises licences. Following receipt of your application the Licensing Team will acknowledge receipt of your application and in accordance with the legislation give notice of your application to:
- neighbours of your premises
- West Lothian Council
- the Chief Constable
- the Community Council
As well as giving notice to the above:
- your application will be advertised on the Board's web pages for a period of 21 days;
- you will be sent a site notice with instructions to display the notice at or near your premises in a place and at a height where it can conveniently be read by the public for the same period of 21 days;
- you will be required to send a certificate of confirmation of display of the site notice to the Licensing Team after the expiry of the 21 day period. If for any reason your site notice is not displayed for the relevant 21 days it may require to be redisplayed which will delay your application; and
- after the expiry of the 28 day period for any objections or representations regarding your application and receipt by the Licensing Team of your certificate of confirmation of site notice your application will be allocated to a Licensing Board meeting. By law all applications for major variation require to be considered and determined by the Board. You will be sent notice of the date and time of the Board meeting at which your application is to be considered and a copy of the report for the Board on your application. All Board meetings are held in the West Lothian Civic Centre. You and/ or your representative will be given the opportunity to address the Board regarding your application at the meeting. Applications will be referred to a Board meeting within 3 months of the end of the 28 day period.
Yes. You can include any number of major variations in the same major variation application e.g. you can apply to increase your licensed hours and add to the activities permitted in your operating plan in the same application. You can also include any number of minor variations in the same minor variation application e.g. you can apply to change the name of your premises and vary your layout plan in accordance with the terms of your operating plan in the same application. As part of the pre-processing check of variation applications the Licensing Team may invite licence holders to consider including further matters in their application to deal with any anomalies or errors in the licence.
You can also include any minor variation in a major variation application. However please note that if you do this the minor variation parts of your application will be subject to the same application process as for major variation applications referred to above. If you wish to apply for a minor variation to substitute a new premises manager with immediate effect, you should do so using the application form to intimate a new premises manager available in the downloads section of this page. Any minor variation you wish to make as part of such an application should be made separately on the Board's application for variation of a premises licence form.
You do not need to apply for variation to update your name or address as licence holder or the name or address of any of the connected persons named in our records in relation to your premises licence (including a person becoming or ceasing to be a connected person). However please note that by law you are required to notify us within a month of any change in these details, as failure to do so without reasonable excuse is an offence, liable on summary conviction to a fine.
You can do so by email to email@example.com
Or by post to:
West Lothian Licensing Board
West Lothian Civic Centre
Howden South Road
Please include the name and address of your premises and your premises licence number in your email or letter together with the updated personal details required in your notice. If you are sending notice that a person has become a connected person please note that you must include the person's name, address and date of birth. If you are updating your name or address as licence holder you need to return your full premises licence, including the layout plan to us to be updated and reissued.
Any member of the public can object to or make a representation regarding an application for major variation of a premises licence during the 28 day period in which the application is advertised.
Information on Adverts for current alcohol licences
Under section 131 of the 2005 Act you have a right of appeal to the Sheriff Principal by lodging documentation in the prescribed form at Livingston Sheriff and JP Court. Time limits apply to your ability to request a statement of reasons for the Board's decision by sending notice of your request in writing to the Clerk, and to your ability to lodge an appeal to the Sheriff Principal. All appeals lodged with the Sheriff Court should be copied to the Board. If you are in any doubt as to your position or the time limits that apply, you should take immediate legal advice from a licensing solicitor.