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Public entertainment licence

What does the law require?

A "public entertainment licence" shall be required for the use of premises as a place of public entertainment. This means any place where members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities for the purposes of entertainment or recreation of any of the following types:

  1. Premises used for public performances of live music, whether indoor or outdoor, including concerts, music festivals and live DJ events.

    However a public entertainment licence will not be required for public performances of live music in premises organised by local schools, choirs, charities, drama, theatre, operatic and musical clubs where:

    1. the time, date and place of the entertainment is intimated to West Dunbartonshire Council at least 14 days in advance of the event, and 

    2. access to the premises is by ticket only and the number of tickets available is no greater than 500.

  2. Theatres (whether or not being used for the performance of plays), premises used for variety shows, and premises used for performances involving hypnotism.

  3. Dance halls (with capacity for more than 100 people, including both participants and spectators), and premises used for discos or roller discos.

  4. Skating rinks (including facilities for indoor roller skating and skateboarding) and ice rinks.

  5. Circuses.

  6. Exhibitions of persons or performing animals

  7. Fairgrounds, pleasure parks and theme parks

  8. Billiard, snooker or pool rooms

  9. Firework or bonfire displays

  10. Fetes, gala days and similar community events involving the use of temporary enclosed or semi-enclosed structures such as tents and marquees, temporary raised structures, live music, mechanical amusement rides, or inflatable structures.

  11. Sunbed/tanning facilities

  12. Premises used for bungee jumping, abseiling, zip slides, indoor climbing walls and trampolining

  13. Premises used for motor vehicle stunt shows, and any premises (including roads) used for motor sports

  14. Premises used for paintball games

  15. Premises used for any activity involving inflatable structures

  16. Boxing, wrestling and martial arts events where a public audience may be present on payment of a fee

Any person wishing to carry on any such activity will require a licence from the Council before doing so, (unless the Council already licenses the activity in which case a licence will continue to be required without any delay in implementation).”With effect from 24 November 2016 it will be an offence under Section 7(1) of the Act to use a premises for Public Entertainment for the classes mentioned above without a licence.  

What do I need to consider?

We shall refuse an application to grant or renew a licence if, in our opinion:

    1. the applicant or any director or partner or any other manager, is either:

      1. disqualified under section 7(6) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, or

      2. not a fit and proper person to be the holder of the licence;

    2. the activity to which it relates would be managed by or carried on for the benefit of a person, other than the applicant, who would be refused the grant or renewal of such a licence if he made the application himself;

    3. where the licence applied for relates to an activity consisting of or including the use of premises or a vehicle or vessel, those premises, vehicle or vessel are not suitable or convenient for the conduct of the activity having regard to:

      1. the location, character or condition of the premises or the character or condition of the vehicle or vessel;

      2. the nature and extent of the proposed activity;

      3. the kind of persons likely to be in the premises, vehicle or vessel;

      4. the possibility of undue public nuisance; or

      5. public order or public safety; or

    4. there is other good reason for refusing the application.

How will you deal with my application?

If your application relates to an activity wholly or mainly to be carried on in premises, you must display a notice at or near the premises for 21 days from the date of your application so that it can conveniently be read by the public. The notice shall state:

    1. that application has been made for a licence;

    2. description of the application;

    3. that objections and representations in relation to the application may be made to the licensing authority;

    4. the way in which objections and representations should be made.

You shall, as soon as possible after the expiry of the period of 21 days referred to above, submit to us a certificate stating that you have complied with this requirement.

We may have to publish details of your application.

If your application is deemed non-contentious, we should be able to grant your licence without referring the decision to the Licensing Committee. Applications must remain on our public register for 28 days before a licence can be granted. 'Non-contentious' means any application which has not resulted in any objections, or representations of a serious nature, and where is no conflict with council policy. Contentious applications will be determined by the Licensing Board.

We will attach conditions to any licence we grant or renew and we may take action to ensure that you comply with those conditions.

When will a decision be made?

We aim to make a decision on your application within 90 calendar days. This assumes that your application is not contentious. Your application will take longer to process if it becomes contentious (for example, if we receive objections or representations) and if that is the case we will keep you informed of the revised timescale.

What happens if you don't make a decision within the target time?

If you have still not received a decision after the target time has expired, your authorisation is granted automatically. However that will not apply if your application involves complex issues and we have notified you of an extension to the target time. If we need to do that, we will let you know in good time and we will give reasons.

We must make a decision within six months of receiving an application for a licence. If a decision has not been made after a six month period has expired, your authorisation is granted automatically without condition.  

Please note that you must not carry on the activity for which you have applied for a licence unless or until you have been granted a licence.

What can I do if I'm not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the way we have processed your application please contact us.

How does the Council handle objections and representations?

Find out more about objections and representations.