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Late Hours Catering Licence

West Lothian Council operates a late hours catering licensing scheme which is administered by the Council's Licensing Team. The Team are able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence.

Which premises require a licence from the Council?

In terms of Section 42 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, a late hours catering licence is required where premises (including mobile premises operated by street traders) are to be used between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am for the sale to the public of food for consumption on as well as off the premises. Food is defined in terms of the Food Safety Act 1990 and has an extremely wide definition which covers all food and drink including water and chewing gum.

Exemptions from requiring a late hours catering licence

In terms of Section 42(4) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 a Late Hours Catering Licence shall not be required in respect of the following;

  • the use as such of licensed premises within the meaning of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005; or
  • premises being used in accordance with a public entertainment licence

The Council considers that unless a liquor licence or a public entertainment licence is in force under which the premises are being operated during the hours between 11pm and 5am that a late hours catering licence will be required.

Section 42(5) allows applications to be made to the Council to exempt the use of premises requiring a late hours catering licence from the requirement to have such a licence;

  • in respect of any particular occasion; or
  • during a specified period not exceeding 2 months in any period of 12 months

Conditions may be attached to any exemption granted. Applications for an exemption should be made in writing along with a cheque or postal order for the appropriate fee to the Licensing Team or can be lodged at CIS Livingston, Arrochar House, Civic Square, Almondvale Boulevard, Livingston, EH54 6QJ.

A note of fees can be found in the Related Documents section of this page.

How do you apply for a late hours catering licence?

If you want to apply for a licence you must submit an application form along with the required documents and the appropriate fee.

Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them and a list of fees are available from the Related Documents section of this page. You should read the guidance notes carefully before completing your application form.

There are two separate application forms. One is for persons applying for a licence as an individual and the other is to be completed by applicants who are companies, partnership or organisations.

All applications are copied to the Council's advisors who can recommend that conditions in addition to the standard conditions detailed on this page are attached to the licence when granted. If you do not want to accept any recommended conditions then the application would be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made regarding which conditions will apply to your licence. Mandatory background checks will be carried out on all applicants by Police Scotland and applicants' details will be retained on computer. You will be contacted once vetting is complete.

What is the Council's policy on trading hours for late hours catering licences?

The Council's policy regarding applications for late hours catering licences is as follows -

Applications for late hours catering licences for petrol stations, supermarkets and retail shops

Applications to licence the above premises between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination.

Applications for late hours catering licences for takeaway or restaurant premises

Applications to licence the above types of premises until a terminal hour of 1 am for sales at the premises and 2 am for deliveries which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination.

You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee.

How will my application be decided?

We have nine months in which to make a decision regarding your application however the majority of applications are determined within 60 days and subject to the council's policy on trading hours outlined above applications which do not attract any adverse comments or objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers.

All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made to grant or refuse your application. You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis and you will be sent notice of the date and time of the meeting at which your application is to be considered along with a copy of the report on your application. Meetings are held in the West Lothian Civic Centre and you or your representative will be given the opportunity to explain to the committee at the meeting why you consider your application should be granted

If your application is refused by the Licensing Committee you may have a right of appeal against that decision and can request a written statement of reasons in relation to the decision from the Licensing Team, this must be done within 10 days of the date your application was refused. Appeals against decisions can be made to Livingston Sheriff Court, information regarding the Sheriff Court is available from the Scottish Courts website and you should consult your own legal representative should you wish further information on how to appeal.

What standard conditions will be applied if my licence is granted?

Standard conditions that are applied to late hours catering licences can be found in the related documents section of this page.

How long will my licence be granted for?

A late hours catering licence is issued for a period of 1 year for both the grant or renewal of a licence.

What if I want to vary any of the standard conditions in relation to my licence?

If you are a current licence holder and wish to vary a condition of your licence you need to make a variation application using the form and pay an administration fee. Please note that a separate application must be made for each licence which you wish to be varied. The application form and a list of fees can be found in the Related Documents section of this page.

Once your application form and fee are received a copy of your application will be sent to the Council's advisors for their comments. If there are no adverse comments received from advisors the licence can be varied by the Chief Solicitor using delegated powers.

However if any adverse comments are received the application would then need to be referred to the next suitable Licensing Committee for a decision to be taken. If your application needs to go to the committee the whole process may take three to four months depending on how long it takes for the advisors to respond. If your variation application is referred to committee you will be invited to attend the meeting to explain to the committee why you consider your application should be granted.

If you are applying for a new licence or to renew an existing licence and wish to request that any of the standard conditions be varied you can request that at the time you make your application without making a separate variation application. You should include a letter with your application form explaining what condition you wish varied and the reasons for that. The procedure is the same as for variation applications and if any adverse comments are received the application would then need to be referred to the next suitable Licensing Committee for a decision to be taken on the grant or renewal of the application including your request for the conditions to be varied.

You should be aware that if your application requires to be referred to the Licensing Committee that this will delay the determination of your application.

List of late hour catering licence holders and premises

The following list contains details of licence holders, the list is updated regularly and at least every 12 weeks and gives details of the name of the licence holder and premises address. For the avoidance of doubt this is the only information available to members of the public.

pdf icon Late Hours Catering Licences [50kb]

How do you complain about late hours catering licence holders?

Complaints regarding licence holders may be made to the Licensing Team. These should be made in writing by email or letter providing full details of the nature of the complaint and sent to the Licensing Team using the contact details on the top right handside of this page.

Complaints regarding unlicensed late hours catering premises should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.