The Government has published a consultation about measures that would enable premises to more easily sell alcohol for consumption in a pavement licence area, whilst ensuring that licensing authorities and local residents continue to have a say about what happens in their area.

The current Business and Planning Act 2020 provisions, which allowed a temporary permission for ‘off sales’ during the Covid-19 pandemic, i.e. allowing licensed premises to sell alcohol for takeaway, delivery and to drink in licensed pavement areas, without changing their licence, expire on 31 March 2025. This consultation sets out permanent options for alcohol licensing after this date.

Selling alcohol outside can be a contentious issue for licensed premises, particularly if the business is in a residential area. Residents may oppose licences due to noise, more chance of anti-social behaviour, and litter/mess left on the streets.

What are the proposals?

The proposals provide three options:

  • Option 1 – make permanent the temporary regulatory easements for off-sales under the Business and Planning Act 2020, whereby any on-sales alcohol premise licence automatically covers off-sales as well.
  • Option 2 – amend the Licensing Act 2003 to extend the definition of on-sales so that it includes consumption in a licensed pavement area.
  • Option 3 – amend the Licensing Act to permit on-sales only premises licence holders the right to make off-sales to any area for which there is a pavement licence.

The consultation is seeking views on how the provisions should be dealt with to avoid the requirement for operators with an ‘on sales’ only licence to have to apply for a variation to their licence.

The consultation closes on 11 July 2024.

If you operate a licensed premises and have questions about your licence, please contact Sarah Taylor.

For further information please contact:

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.