Minor variations to a premises licence or club premises certificate

The test for whether a proposed variation is ‘minor’ is whether it could impact adversely on any of the four licensing objectives. These are:

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

We expect that the process will be used for changes such as:

  • small changes to the structure or layout of a premises;
  • the addition of authorisation for late night refreshment or regulated entertainment (such as live music, performance of plays or film exhibitions);
  • small changes to licensing hours (but see below on changes that relate to alcohol);
  • revisions, removals and additions of conditions (this could include the removal or amendment of out of date, irrelevant or unenforceable conditions, or the addition of volunteered conditions).

The minor variations process cannot be used to:

  • add the retail or supply of alcohol to a licence
  • extend licensing hours for the sale or supply of alcohol at any time between 11pm and 7am;
  • increase the amount of time on any day during which alcohol may be sold by retail or supplied;
  • extend the period for which the licence or certificate has effect;
  • transfer the licence or certificate from one premises to another, or vary substantially the premises to which it relates
  • specify, in a premises licence, an individual as the premises supervisor;
  • add the sale by retail or supply of alcohol as an activity authorised by a licence or certificate; or
  • display the mandatory conditions relating to a designated premises supervisor (there is a separate process by which community premises can apply for this).

You can read a summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application process

What information do I need to put on the application form?

  • Complete all of the application form.
  • Give full details of the nature of variation
  • Do not forget to (all) sign the application form where required


Apply online for a minor variation through GOV.UK

Download a minor variation application form

Please send this to us, using the contact details on the main alcohol and entertainment page.

Is there any other information I must send with the forms? 

The correct fee: £89. Cheques to be made payable to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Online payments can now be made on the payments page. 

You can a make payment by telephone on 020 7364 5000.

If you are applying to reduce your hours so that they do not fall within the levied hours detailed by this borough’s late night levy (12am to 6am), the standard application fee for the minor variation still applies.

If the variation is for structure or layout change then a plan MUST be included. We request that the plan of the premises is at a scale of 1:100. The plan must show the following:

  • The extent of the boundary of the building
  • External and internal walls of the building if relevant.
  • If different from above, the perimeter of the premises.
  • The positions of access to and egress from the premises including escape routes.
  • If the premises is used for more than one existing licensable activity, the area within the premises used for each activity.
  • In a case where an existing licensable activity relates to the supply of alcohol, the location or locations on the premises used for each activity.
  • Fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals on the premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment.
  • Where a stage or raised area exists, the location of the steps, stairs, elevator or lifts
  • In a case where the premises includes any room or rooms containing public conveniences, the location of the room(s).
  • The location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment.
  • The location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises.
  • The plan may include a legend through which the matters mentioned or referred to above are sufficiently illustrated by the use of symbols on the plan.  

Do I need to do anything else apart from complete the form?

Yes, you must advertise the application by way of notice at the premises. We will reject any public notice that states an old address (for example Mulberry Place) for the Licensing Authority.

The notice must be displayed for not less than 10 working days starting on the day after the day on which application was given to the licensing authority

The notice must be prominently displayed at the premises to which it relates, where it can be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises. In the case of a premises that cover an area of more than 50 metres square, a further similar notice every 50 metres along the external premises abutting any highway shall be displayed.

View an example of a Minor Variation notice (please email the us)

Please note the notice must be:

  • Equal to or larger than A4 WHITE in colour
  • Printer legibly in black ink or typed in black in a font of a size at lease equal to size 16
  • Briefly describe the proposed variation i.e. regulated entertainment and/or late nigh refreshment, with hours specified i.e. Monday to Sunday from 11am hours to 11pm.  If there are non-standard hours i.e. Bank Holiday, then this should be briefly mentioned.  The hours the premises are open to the public are not required to be shown.  Where the variation is not for the hours then briefly explain what the variation is.  If you are removing an existing licence condition then briefly describe the condition.
  • The name of the applicant
  • The postal address of the premises
  • The postal address of the licensing authority where the register is kept and when the record of the application can be viewed (this will be at the council offices, Licensing Team, Environmental Health & Trading Standards, 

    Tower Hamlets Town Hall
    160 Whitechapel Road
    E1 1BJ

    from 10am hours to 4pm Monday to Friday)
  •  The date by which an interest party or responsible authority may make representations to the relevant licensing authority.  (In all cases this is 10 working days starting on the day after the day on which the application to which it relates was given to the authority by the applicant).
  • A sentence stating that all representations shall be made in writing      

Do I have to send copies to any of the responsible authorities?

There is no requirement for you to notify the responsible authorities of the application. Instead, responsible authorities are only involved by us if specialist advice is required.

What happens if representations are received?

Representations do not trigger a hearing under the minor variations process, but we must take any representations into account in arriving at a decision.

When will I know the result?

The Licensing Authority must determine the application within 15 working days.

Complaints and appeals

If the application is refused you do not have right of appeal, applications can be considered thereafter under full variation process.

See the main page for information on how to complain.