Developers of leisure property regarding Provisional Statements and Provisional Premises Licences


Developers of leisure property regarding Provisional Statements and Provisional Premises Licences

08 Apr 2016

Following the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003, developers of leisure premises initially relied on the new concept of “Provisional Statements” which enabled applicants to establish the principle of an authorisation before having to work up the detail of their scheme.

However, Provisional Statements have two flaws:

1) they require an end user operator to go through an almost identical process of applying for a full Premises Licence, and

2) in certain circumstances they do not remove objections to the subsequent application.

As such, a Provisional Statement does not give the same sort of assurance as a Premises Licence and so unsurprisingly has become unpopular.

For the above reasons a more recent concept, sometimes referred to as a “Provisional Premises Licence”, has gained popularity with developer clients.

On the face of it where premises have not yet been built, an application for a Provisional Premises Licence can raise some practical problems.  However, in our experience, particularly with the co-operation of the Licensing and other Responsible Authorities, such hurdles can be overcome.  Pre-application consultation is key to this.

A Provisional Premises Licence can be applied for and granted before details that would normally be required for a new application are known by the developer.  For example, a plan may be submitted which simply shows the outline of a building.  Once fit out details are confirmed, a variation application can be submitted to render the licence fit for trade.

Once granted a Provisional Premises Licence tends to be sufficient to persuade interested operators to commit to signing an agreement for lease.

The clear advantage over Provisional Statements is that a Provisional Premises Licence offers certainty.  From a practical commercial view point a Provisional Premises Licence removes the necessity for licensing conditionality in agreements for lease, which often lead to delay.

Numerous developers with whom we have worked have benefited from this approach. The feedback we receive is that the strategy adds value to a development.

For further information please contact Anthony Lyons on 0161 838 7888 or email him at

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