Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 section 142: guidance for licensing boards and local authorities

Guidance on section 142 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for licensing boards and local authorities.

8. Excluded Premises

224. Section 123 of the 2005 Act provides that no authority (being a premises licence or occasional licence) under the Act will have effect to authorise the sale or supply of alcohol on or from certain premises. This section of the Act has the effect of restricting the ability to use certain premises for the sale or supply of alcohol. Those specified are set out below.

Motorway Service Stations

225. The 2005 Act prohibits alcohol licences being available for motorway service stations.

Garage Forecourt Shops

226. If a premises is used as a garage or form part of premises which are so used the 2005 Act prohibits the holding of an alcohol licence. Premises are used as a garage if they are used for one or more of the following:

  • the retailing of petrol;
  • the retailing of diesel;
  • the sale of motor vehicles; and
  • the maintenance of motor vehicles.

Community Resource

227. However, under the 2005 Act if a premises (or parts of premises) are used as a garage they will be able to apply for an alcohol licence if the local community is (or is likely to become) reliant on the premises as a principal source of either fuel or groceries. The effect of this exemption is not limited to rural areas, as there may be instances in urban or other areas where the community is reliant on the premises as their local shop.

228. This means that forecourt shops (including those forecourt shops who presently hold a licence under the 1976 Act to sell or supply alcohol) will only be eligible for consideration for a licence under the 2005 Act if they fall within a specified exemption for shops fulfilling a retailing need within the locality.

229. If a garage forecourt shop is not eligible for the above exemption it will not be eligible for a premises licence or occasional licence.

230. The 2005 Act changes the position which existed under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 where it was a matter for the local Licensing Board to decide whether to grant a licence to a garage forecourt shop. A Licensing Board must now refuse such an application unless it believes the shop is fulfilling a retaining need within the locality. It is recognised that in rural areas the garage forecourt shop may be a local community's only retail facilities and that the shop may provide the economic support for maintaining a local fuel supplier especially in the more isolated communities. Licensing Boards should also recognise that in urban areas the garage forecourt shop may provide the only shop for its surrounding community, providing groceries for those who do not have access to transport to the larger, often out of town retailers.


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