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Cambridge City Council

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Apply for a premises licence

You will need a licence from the council to provide any of the following licensable activities:

  • Sale of alcohol by retail
  • Supply of alcohol on club premises
  • Regulated entertainment
  • Late night refreshment

For applications for premises located in one of the city's cumulative impact zones we strongly suggest you obtain pre-application advice from the Police Licensing Officer and Environmental Health before submitting your application. This will help to limit the chance of problems encountered during the representation period.

The current Cumulative Impact Zones in Cambridge City are as follows:

  • City centre (Market ward) - please see page 35 of the statement of licensing policy [PDF, 1MB] for a list of streets
  • Mill Road
  • Hills Road (between city centre and Purbeck Road)
  • Cambridge Leisure Park

Pre-application advice is available by e-mailing:


We are currently not processig applications sent to us by post. Please complete applications online at this time. 

You can access and submit the relevant application forms from the GOV.UK website:

A fee is payable upon application. The fee is dependent on the property value and is explained in the application form.

With the exception of the application for a minor variation to a premises or club licence, tacit approval applies, so you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 40 days.

Tacit approval does not apply for an application for a minor variation to a premises or club licence. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within 40 days.


Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:

  • anyone who 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
  • 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.

Please be advised that following the changes to the Licensing Act 2003 made by the 'Licensing Act 2003 (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017' applicants for a new Premises Licence will need to prove that they have the right to live and work in the UK before the application can be processed.


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 of the premises or both
  • the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other required information.

Applicants may be required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to any other person or responsible body, such as the chief police officer or fire and rescue authority.

The council must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. 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 or the application can be rejected.

We will serve a notice of our decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations (ie, 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 may have to be heard if representations are made or conditions relating to a transfer are not met.

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