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Licensed premises

Premises licensing and fire safety requirements.

Last updated:
4 March 2021
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1 Premises licences

Premises licences authorise the use of any premises (vehicle, vessel, movable structure or any place or part of any premises) for licensable activities such as:

  • selling or supplying alcohol
  • serving hot food and drinks between 11.00pm and 5.00am.

You’ll also need a licence if you provide various types of entertainment. You can find more about this on:

2 Licence issuing

Licences are issued by local district and borough councils, who consult West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service on the public safety elements of any applications under the Licensing Act 2003.

This gives us the opportunity to assess the nature of the application, premises type and fire precautions to ensure the public will be safe. As a result we may provide you with fire safety advice or conduct a fire safety visit of your premises.

The responsible person must also conduct a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment of the premises. This is a requirement of the Fire Safety Order.

You can find out more about licensing on your local district or borough council's website:

3 Premises licences guidance

What do I need to do?

In accordance with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003, applicants for premises licences must give formal written notification to the fire authority of their application.

To help the Fire Authority process the application, please include the following information with your notification:

  • the operating schedule
  • plans of the premises in the prescribed form to which the application relates. Details of fire precautions are to be shown, to include all provisions concerned in fire safety scheme for the premises, such as:
    • fire resisting elements
    • exit doors and routes
    • signage
    • emergency lighting
    • fire warning systems
    • fire extinguishing equipment or systems (two sets of plans are to be provided).
  • the date when the most recent fire safety risk assessment of the premises was carried out, along with a record of identified significant findings
  • a summary of any proposed changes or improvements to remedy the significant findings, with the date of their implementation
  • details of the occupancy numbers to be permitted in the premises, including the methodology used to establish the numbers and also the management arrangements to ensure they are not exceeded
  • a copy of the emergency plan
  • supporting evidence demonstrating adequate maintenance of fire safety provisions and systems, for example, records of current servicing certificates.

On receiving the notification, the Fire & Rescue Service will send an acknowledgement of the notification to the applicant and the licensing authority. We operate a risk-based inspection programme and therefore may not carry out a visit at this time.

The premises will need to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. To ensure compliance, the responsible person is required to carry out a fire risk assessment.

If five or more people are employed, or if a licence is in force relating to the premises, a written record of the significant findings must be kept. To assist you, find a guide suitable for your premises.

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