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Alcohol licences for outdoor areas

If you wish to sell alcohol for drinking in an outdoor area, you'll need a licence from the Fife Licensing Board. You will not need one if the area is already part of your premises licence. This includes:

  • pavement cafés
  • garden areas
  • parking areas

If you are only looking for a short period of time, you can do this by applying for an Occasional Licence. This lasts for up to 14 days. You can apply for a series of occasional licence applications if you wish to operate for a longer period.

The Statement of Licensing Policy advises drinking alcohol within outdoor areas will not continue beyond 11pm. Outdoor Conditions can be added to your licence, along with any other conditions as required. You will be advised of these before any licence is granted.

Fife Licensing Board normally applies the following conditions to any licence for an outdoor area:

  1. Alcohol must only be consumed within a well-demarcated area
  2. Appropriate signs – NO ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ARE ALLOWED TO BE CONSUMED OUTWITH THE DEMARCATED AREA – to be erected at the entrance/exits. This means all purchasers and consumers of alcohol are aware of the above restriction. This makes sure the bye-laws stopping consumption of alcohol in a public place are not ignored.
  3. The organisers must make sure they have stewards at the entrance/exits to the area, throughout the duration of the licence. Their job is to stop alcohol being taken outside.
  4. In the interests of public safety, only plastic cups or non-breakable containers should be used.

Applications need to have a detailed plan of the where the area is you are looking to licence. It should have details of how it will be laid out and fenced off, and how it will be stewarded.

A risk assessment plan also needs to be submitted. It should detail how you can operate this area. These documents will be passed onto the relevant council services, and Police Scotland, for comment. 

If you are looking to licence an outdoor area as part of your existing premises on a permanent basis, a major variation application is required. This application must be dealt with at a meeting of the Licensing Board. Applications for occasional licences can be made to cover the period up to the granting of the major variation.

Links to application forms and guidance