About the licensing pre-application advice service

From 1 April 2020, the Council can offer a paid pre-application advice service to support applicants, licence holders, agents or other authorised persons on behalf of the applicant/licence holder who is considering making an application.

This service is currently available to those making an application under the following licensing regimes:

  • Licensing Act 2003
  • London Local Authorities Act 1991 – Part II (Special Treatments)

All applications will still be required to undergo the statutory public consultation periods as defined under the relevant legislation.

In all cases, the advice and guidance stop once the application is submitted to the Licensing Partnership for consideration and is validated.

Why use this service?

Our aim through this service is to help you:

  • understand how the Council’s policies will be applied to your application
  • complete your application correctly and reduce any unnecessary delays
  • peace of mind - from application to photos we make sure everything’s right first time
  • reduced administration - as the Licensing Partnership will distribute copies of your application to Responsible Authorities on the check and send applications. (see details below on check and send)

Using this process does not guarantee an application will be granted.

What it does, is ensure that it will be processed promptly and that where appropriate the application contains all of the information and conditions that the council would expect to be in place to satisfy the Responsible Authorities concerned under the Licensing Act 2003.

Types of pre-application advice

The types of pre-application advice we can provide are:

1. Check and send

Officers of the Licensing Partnership based at Sevenoaks District Council will meet with you to do a pre-submission validation check to ensure there are no errors or omissions that may result in an application being rejected as invalid. They will certify any photographs (if applicable) and facilitate you submitting an online application which will distribute your application to consultees/responsible authorities (where applicable).

2. Pre-application consultation

We will do a pre-submission validation check of your application form and give advice on the legislation, our policy and (where appropriate) the kind of conditions you might want to offer in the operating schedule.  This will be helpful for applicants/licence holders to:

  • gain an understanding of potential issues that may arise from their application
  • consider any appropriate conditions and/or comments that may alleviate concerns of consultees or Responsible Authorities
  • understand any policy implications arising from their application
  • understand the likelihood of the application being successful

What you can expect from this service

  • we will give you advice from experienced individuals from either Licensing, and some of the Responsible Authorities, such as the Licensing Authority (Licensing Enforcement), Trading Standards (Protection of children) or Police Licensing;
  • we will assist you to complete application forms and associated documents;
  • we will provide advice in line with the Council’s relevant adopted policy;
  • we will advise you regarding the role of Responsible Authorities;
  • we can highlight to you particular issues you may need to consider for your specific application;
  • advice regarding advertising your application and we will provide you with any notices that are required to be displayed at your premises and if required in the local newspaper;
  • advice on the process and what to expect

Please note:

Officers in attendance will not be able to provide the views of other authorities such as fire authority, health and safety, etc.

Where this service is used, all Responsible Authorities will have a legal entitlement to make representations relating to the application, even if advice has been sought and provided under a pre-app advice agreement.

Should an application receive representations, the matter may be referred to the Licensing Sub Committee for determination, who will consider the application on its own merits and will determine the application accordingly.

How to apply for this service - contact

If you wish to make a preliminary initial enquiry about this service, email the Licensing Partnership at licensing@sevenoaks.gov.uk and advise them what type of application you are enquiring about. They will either deal with the enquiry themselves if it relates to a check and send application or they will pass the enquiry to the Principal Licensing Officer based at the Bexley Civic Offices to make contact with you.

Charges for service

Licensing Act 2003

Charges for advice with regards to the Licensing Act 2003
Type of application or eventFee
Small Application - Up to one hour of advice and up to one hour meeting at Council offices regarding small licence applications£265
Medium Application - Up to one hour meeting at Council offices and two hours advice for medium applications£397
Large Application - Up to one hour meeting at Council offices and three hours advice for large applications£530

The above charges became effective from 1 April 2024.