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Guidance for submission of Temporary Events Notices during Covid-19 restrictions

Notice to premises users under Temporary Event Notices (TENs)

On 11 July 2020, the Government updated its guidance in relation to working safely during COVID-19. The updated guidance confirmed that performing arts can now take place outdoors with a socially distanced audience present. This means that outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can now be resumed so long as they take place outside, with a limited and socially distanced audience, and the appropriate risk assessments in place.

Guidance published by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport aims to help performing arts organisations, venue operators and participants in the UK understand how they can work and take part in the performing arts safely, and keep their audiences safe.

The Licensing Authority is mindful that the recent relaxation of restrictions may result in an increase in TENs being submitted to the Licensing Authority for events in the open air. However, notwithstanding the possibility of small scale events taking place, there is still an ongoing requirement to prevent the occurrence of illegal gatherings which could contribute to an increase in the spread of the virus and potentially result in a local lockdown.

In order to assist event organisers to deliver a safe event using the TENs process, we would strongly advise that the best approach in organising your event is to ensure that you have conducted a thorough risk assessment for the proposed entertainment and, in particular, follow Government guidance in relation to COVID-19 measures so as to ensure that performers and members of the public alike are safe and the risk of transmission of the coronavirus is reduced. This risk assessment also needs to demonstrate how illegal gatherings will be prevented.

To reduce the potential risk of objections being made by the Police or Environmental Health in relation to any TEN given, it is strongly suggested that you submit the risk assessment you have undertaken at the same time you give notification of the TEN.

This will enable the authorities to properly consider the measures you intend to put in place and may well prevent possible objections which would result in either the event not going ahead under a late TEN or a formal hearing being necessary for a standard TEN.

The following links may be of assistance to organisers who are thinking of organising an outdoor event or for indoor events such as theatres, music and performance venues from 1 August as highlighted by the PM on 17 July:

The Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”) introduces a light touch system for ad hoc, permitted temporary activities.  A temporary event notice (TEN) is given by an individual (a premises user) and authorises the premises user to conduct one or more licensable activities at premises for no more than 168 hours (7 days). TENs can be used to authorise relatively small-scale ad hoc events held in or on any premises involving less than 500 people at any one time, subject to certain restrictions.

Recent changes to the system of giving TENs have been created by virtue of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 which came into effect on 25 April 2012.

If you wish to hold an ad-hoc event in England or Wales, you must give either a standard temporary event notice (TEN) to your local licensing authority no later than ten working days before the event or there is limited provision to give a late TEN no later than 5 working days but no earlier than 9 working days before the event.

If the premises where the event is to be held is in areas governed by two or more local authorities applications must be made to each.

You must also give a copy of the notice to the police and environmental health on the same day that the notification is given to the licensing authority.

You must be 18 years or older to give a TEN and can give a maximum of 5 standard TENs or 2 late TENs per calendar year. If you are a personal licence holder, you can give a maximum of 50 standard TENs or 10 late TENs per year.

Your event must involve no more than 499 people at any one time and last no more than 168 hours (7 days) with a minimum of 24 hours between events.

A maximum of 15 TENs may be given in respect of any particular premises (but this is subject to a maximum aggregate duration of 21 days).

Eligibility criteria

An activity that can be licensed must be carried out as detailed in a notice that must be given.

The notice must be in a specific format and must be made by someone over 18 years of age.

The notice should contain:

  • if alcohol is to be supplied, a statement confirming that it is a condition of using the premises that the supplies are made under the premises user’s authority
  • a statement relating to certain matters
  • any other required information

The matters referred to above are:

  • details of the licensable activities
  • the event period
  • the times when during that period the activities will take place
  • the maximum number of people proposed to be allowed on the premises
    any other required matters

Regulation summary

The powers to regulate and issue licences are contained in the Licensing Act 2003 (external link to the National Archives website).

Application evaluation process

The TEN must be given in writing to the licensing authority, police and environmental health at least 10 working days before the event in respect of a standard TEN and no later than 5 working days but no earlier than 9 working days before the event in respect of a late TEN.  A fee is payable with the notice.

The licensing authority will issue a written acknowledgement of the TEN to the premises user before the end of the first working day it was received or before the end of the second working day if the day the notice was received is not a working day.  The police and environmental health do not have to acknowledge receipt.

Either the police or environmental health may intervene to prevent an event covered by a TEN taking place, agreement a modification of such an event or request that conditions be imposed by the licensing authority on the TEN if a premises licence or club premises certificate is currently in force in respect of the same premises to which the TEN applies.  An objection to a TEN can be made in respect of any of the four licensing objectives which are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • protection of children from harm

This notice must be given by no later than 3 working days after the police and environmental health are provided with a copy of the TEN.

The licensing authority must hold a hearing to consider the objection notice in relation to a standard TEN.  If the licensing authority considers it appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives it may either:

  • give a premises user a counter notice, stating the reasons for its decision (and copied to the police and environmental health).  The effect of the counter notice would be to stop the event from taking place; or
  • impose conditions on the standard TEN in those circumstances where it considers it appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.  Any conditions applied should also have been previously imposed on a premises licence or club premises certificate that is in effect for the same premises as the TEN and must ensure that the conditions would not be inconsistent with the carrying out of the licensable activities under the TEN
  • where the licensing authority decides not to give a counter notice or impose conditions, it must give the premises user, police and environmental health notice of this decision and the event can take place as notified

However, if either the police or environmental health makes an objection to a late TEN, the licensing authority MUST give the premises user a counter notice.  As a consequence, this will mean that the late TEN will be ineffective and there is no right to a hearing or appeal.

A decision must be made at least 24 hours before the beginning of the event.

The police or environmental health may modify a standard TEN with the consent of the premises user. In such a case an objection notice will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Counter notices may be provided by the licensing authority if the number of permitted TENs has been exceeded.

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 licensing authority by the end of the target completion period as set down in the Act.

If you have not heard from the licensing authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

You may apply by:

Please contact the Local Authority:

Tel: 023 9283 4607


Or post to:

Portsmouth City Council
Licensing Office
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance:
Tel: 023 9283 4607  email:

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance:
Tel: 023 9283 4607 Email:

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you – preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK,  Adviceguide (external link) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external link).

Other redress

If a licensing authority decides to issue a counter notice in relation to a standard TEN, a premises user can appeal against the decision.  Equally, if a licensing authority decides not to issue an objection notice in relation to a standard TEN the police or environmental health can appeal the decision. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates’ court within 21 days. An appeal may not be brought later than five working days from the day of the planned event.