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Boston May Fair

Boston Borough Council and the Showman's Guild are pleased to announce that for the first time on Sunday 5th May 11am-1pm the May Fair on Bargate Green Car park and Wide Bargate will be opening without sound. This will enable families with children with additional needs to enjoy the delights of the May Fair without the sensory overload that can sometimes prevent some of them enjoying the experience.

Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licence

Information and how to apply for an Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licence

Licensing Act 2003

Under the Licensing Act 2003 Boston Borough Council issues licences and temporary permissions to premises where one or more of the following licensable activities take place.

  • sale of alcohol
  • regulated entertainment
  • late night refreshment.

The Act requires the Council to publish a Statement of Policy every 5 years. The Statement gives guidance to applicants, licence holders and the public on how the Council will make its decisions under the Act.

We have assessed our current Statement and made some proposed amendments to make sure it is up to date.  The proposed amendments are in red. We are seeking the views of residents, Councillors, relevant organisations and licence holders on our draft Statement. Your feedback is important because it will help us to ensure that we have identified all the relevant issues and challenges.

You can tell us your comments by emailing the licensing team or by writing to Licensing Section, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR

The Council will consider all consultation responses before submitting a final draft to Council for adoption

The Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act") gives the council responsibility for an integrated licensing system, bringing together licensing for alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses and night cafes.

Types of licence

There are two types of licence:

  • Premises licences/club premises certificates - required to licence a premises for the provision of licensable activities
  • Personal licences - for persons who authorise the sale of alcohol, including designated premises supervisors.
  • Please note from 1 April 2015 the requirement to renew a personal licence has been abolished.  Personal Licences already issued will no longer expire on the date stated on the licence.

There are also temporary event notices which are used where persons want to provide licensable activities for a period of up to 168 hours for less than 500 people.

Licensing Policy

It is a requirement of the Act that every licensing authority produces a statement of licensing policy which explains how the licensing authority will exercise it licensing functions under the Act. Central to the Statement of Licensing Policy is the promotion of the licensing objectives of:

  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Ensuring public safety
  • Protection of children from harm

Licensable Activities

A licence, certificate or temporary event notice (TEN) authorises the use of premises for the following licensable activities:

  • Sale by retail of alcohol (Includes wholesale)
  • Supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club otherwise than by way of a sale
  • Provision of regulated entertainment
  • Supply of hot food or hot drinks between 23:00 and 05:00 to members of the public for consumption on or off the premises

Regulated Entertainment is defined as:

  • Performance of a play
  • Exhibition of a film
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Boxing and wrestling
  • Live music
  • Recorded music
  • Dancing
  • Provision of facilities for entertainment

Exempt entertainment would include:

  • Entertainment as part of a religious service or at a premises used for religious worship
  • Live broadcast television
  • Films for the purposes of advertisements, information, education, instruction or as part of an exhibit in a museum or art gallery
  • Garden fetes
  • Moving vehicles on the public highway
  • Morris dancing and its ancillary un amplified music
  • Incidental music (live or recorded)

The supply of hot food or non-alcoholic hot drink between 23:00 and 05:00 includes:

  • Takeaways and cafes
  • Mobile hot food vans
  • Petrol stations
  • Any other venue providing hot food and drink

There are exemptions, which include hot food and drinks supplied:

  • in hotels
  • direct from vending machines
  • by a registered charity
  • to an employee by their employer
  • to a member of a recognised club

Applications should be sent with the appropriate fee to the contact details on the left. Cheque's should be made payable to Boston Borough Council

Eligibility Criteria

Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • anyone who uses carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates
  • a recognised club
  • a charity
  • a health service body
  • a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital
  • a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales
  • anyone discharging a statutory or function under Her Majesty's prerogative
  • a person from an educational institute
  • any other permitted person

Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.

Regulation Summary

See alcohol licensing guidance for a summary of the eligibility criteria for alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment licences.

Application Evaluation Process

Applications must be sent to the licensing authority for the area where the premises are located.

Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by any required fee, an operating schedule, a plan of the premises and a form of consent from the premises supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity).

An operating schedule will include details of:

  • the licensable activities
  • the times when the activities will take place
  • any other times when the premises will be open to the public
  • in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence, the period the licence is required for
  • information in respect of the premises supervisor
  • whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other required information

Applicants for a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate are required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application "Responsible Authorities"  e.g. the local authority, chief police officer or fire and rescue authority.

If no representations (objections) are received  licensing authority MUST grant the application, which will be subject to conditions consistent with the operating schedule accompanying the application. A hearing must be held if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held the licence can be granted or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded, the authority can refuse to specify a person as the Designated Premises Supervisor, or the application can be rejected.

The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made a relevant representation  (representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious) and the Chief of Police.

Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence. A hearing will be held if representations are made.

Other applications that can be made are applications for an interim authority notice following the death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period

Applying online

See related links

Failed application redress

Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance. If an application for a licence is refused the failed applicant can appeal. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Licence holder redress

Please contact the local authority in the first instance. If an application for an expedited review is made by the chief police officer,  and interim steps are taken by the licensing authority, you may make representations. A hearing must be held within 48 hours of your representations. A licence holder may appeal against any conditions attached to a licence, a decision to reject a variation application, a decision to reject a transfer application or a decision to exclude an activity or person as premises supervisor. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Consumer complaint

An any person or responsible authority may apply to the licensing authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the licensing authority. The Licensing Authority may either, take no action, append additional conditions to a licence, remove licensable activities from the licence, remove the Designated Premises Supervisor or suspend or revoke the licence. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Other redress

The chief police officer for the police area where the premises are located can apply to the licensing authority for a review of the licence if the premises are licensed to sell alcohol by retail and a senior officer has given a certificate that they are of the opinion that the premises are associated with either serious crime or disorder or both. A hearing will be held and the licence holder and other interested parties may make representations.

A chief police officer can give a notice to the licensing authority if they believe that the transfer of a licence to another person or company could undermine crime prevention objectives. Such a notice must be given within 14 days of receiving notification of the application.

A Responsible Authority or any other person may make representations in relation to a licence application or request the Licensing Authority to review a licence.

A Responsible Authority or any other person may apply to the licensing authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the licensing authority.

A Responsible Authority or any other person who made relevant representations may appeal against the granting of a licence or against any condition, variation, licensable activity or premises supervisor decisions.

Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Trade associations

See related links


No fee is payable for the provision of regulated entertainment ONLY


a) The licence or club premises certificate has effect in respect or premises that are or from part of an educational institution; and the provision of regulated entertainment on the premises is to be carried on by the educational institution for and on behalf of the purposes of the educational institution


b) the premises licence or club premises certificate will have effect in respect of premises that are or form part of a church hall, chapel hall or other similar building or village hall, parish hall or community hall or other similar building.

Fees are payable in all other cases as follows:

  • Band A - no rateable value and up to £4,300 - Fee £100
  • Band B - £4,300 to £33,000 - Fee £190
  • Band C - £33,001 to £87,000 - Fee £315
  • Band D - £87,001 to £125,000 - Fee £450
  • Band E - £125,001 and above - Fee £635

If the premise is in Band D or E and is used exclusively or primarily for consumption of alcohol on the premise, the fees shall be as follows:

  • Band D - Fee £900
  • Band E - Fee £1,905

Information on the rateable value to which your application relates can be obtained from the Valuation Office.


For any licensing enquiries please telephone 01205 314235. A member of the licensing team will normally be available at the Municipal Buildings on weekdays 9am - noon and 2pm - 5pm (4.30pm on Fridays).

Privacy Notice

We are required by law to protect your privacy and inform you how your information may be used.The Licensing team collect your personal information to process and manage your  Licence Application or Notice

Some of your information may be made available on a publicly available register and provided on our website as required by relevant legislation.

The information provided by you may also be used for legitimate reasons by other departments of Boston Borough Council and other lawful agencies.

These reasons may include but are not limited to: prevention of crime, detection of fraud and public safety

In some cases information relating to your applications may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act, this council will review these requests to consider if it is lawful to comply.

The Council takes your privacy seriously.  The Council is the Data Controller for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

If you want to know more about the information we have about you, or the way we use your information please contact the Council.