What the Temporary Event Notice (TEN) changes mean to pubs and other licensed venues

By John Coen

- Last updated on GMT

If you're holding a special event in your pub or restaurant, follow this checklist to ensure you stay within the law
If you're holding a special event in your pub or restaurant, follow this checklist to ensure you stay within the law

Related tags License

John Coen, a partner at national law firm Weightmans, talks through what the recent changes to Temporary Event Notice (TEN) legislation will mean to pubs and other licensed business. 

To provide a licensable activity, authorisation is required under a premises licence or a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). 

The provision of the following licensable activities require authorisation under a premises licence, a club premises certificate or a TEN:

  1. The sale of Alcohol;
  2. The supply of alcohol;
  3. The provision of regulated entertainment;
  4. The provision of late night refreshment.  

The sale of alcohol does not need any further explanation but a brief explanation of the other licensable activities may be useful.

The supply of alcohol

This occurs when alcohol is supplied to a person who already has shared ownership of that alcohol. A common example of this is members' clubs, where the members own all the assets of the club (including the alcohol in the club bar). In these cases, when a member buys a drink, it is deemed to be a supply of alcohol (and not a sale of alcohol because the club member already has shared ownership of the alcohol).

The provision of regulated entertainment​ 

Common examples include the playing of recorded or live music but also includes activities such as, the performance of a play, boxing or wrestling events and the showing of a film, etc. It is important to bear in mind that as a result of deregulatory changes no authorisation is required when a number of these activities are provided between 8am and 11pm to audiences of a limited size. 

The provision of late night refreshment

This involves the supply of hot food and hot drink between 11pm and 5am (but has also been the subject of limited deregulation under the Deregulation Act 2015). 

Prior to 1 January 2016, one could only apply for 12 TENs in a calendar year in respect of the same premises. Since 1 January 2016, as a consequence of The Deregulation Act 2015, one may now apply for up 15 TENs in a calendar year, in respect of the same premises. 

The move was made to allow dedicated venues and local event organisers wishing to support their communities through one-off events to be able to. The Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims said: " We want to reduce red tape on businesses by implementing simple reforms to empower local community decision making which is why the Government introduced the Deregulation Act 2015." 

The following limitations continue to apply to TENs:  

  • The maximum duration of an event authorised by a TEN is 168 hours (seven days)
  • The maximum total duration of events, in the same premises, that may be authorised by Tens, in any calendar year, is 21 days;
  • The maximum number of people who may attend an event authorised by a TEN is 499 people and
  • The minimum period between events authorised by a TEN, is 24 hours.  

The procedure for applying for a TEN is as follows:

  • The application is be to be made to the Licensing Authority where the premises, which will benefit from the TEN, is located;
  • The fee for applying for a TEN is £21;
  • A Standard TEN must be applied for at least 10 working days before the planned event;
  • A copy of the application must be supplied to the Police and the Environmental Heath Department. If the application is made electronically via Gov.UK or the licensing authority’s own “on line” facility, the authority will notify the Police and Environmental Heath Department of the application otherwise it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify them;
  • The Police and/or The Environmental Health Department may object to the proposed event taking place, if they are of the opinion that doing so would undermine one or more of the licensing objectives. The licensing objectives are the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.     
  • Upon receipt of an objection, the licensing authority will hold a hearing to determine the objection(s). The authority may determine that the event may take place, that it may not take place if it is believed that it would undermine one or more of the licensing objectives, or if the planned event is to take place on a licensed premises that one or more of the conditions that appears on the premises licence is to apply to the TEN;
  • In the absence of an objection, the event may take place as planned, and the Licensing Authority will issue an acknowledgement notice; 

A person providing a licensable activity or activities in the absence of authorisation, (such as a TEN) is liable on conviction to a fine and/or a prison sentence. 

John Coen is a Partner at national law firm Weightmans

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