Temporary Event Notices (TENs) enable specific, small-scale, public events involving licensable activities to take place without the need for a full premises licence.

A TEN is typically required if you wish to conduct one or more of the following activities at a location that is not already suitably licensed:

  • selling alcohol (or supplying it for free at a ticketed event)
  • offering “regulated entertainment” i.e. plays, films, indoor sports, boxing/wrestling, music & dancing or similar, with certain exemptions
  • supplying food above room temperature between 11pm and 5am

The applicant must be aged 18 or over and the application fee is £21.

No more than 499 people, including staff, may attend the event at any one time. If there are 500 people or more, a full premises licence will be required.

Please note also that whether the event is intended for a charitable purpose or not makes no difference to the legal licensing requirements.

Before you apply

The most important thing to remember is that we The Licensing Authority have to receive a correctly made application well before the event takes place.

Applications are actually classified in law according to when they are received:

  • a standard TEN (which must be received at least 10 full working days before the event)
  • a late TEN (which can be received 5-9 full working days before the event)

Although the permissions being applied for remain exactly the same either way, it is logical to apply in good time so that the application is a standard TEN. The applicant has diminished rights with late TENs. For example if the authorities object to a late TEN it is automatically vetoed, as it is too late to arrange a hearing to resolve the objection(s).

Applying less than 5 working days before the event is not possible at all. Conversely, there is nothing to stop you applying months in advance, as long as you are sure of the date(s) and times.

Therefore, please take careful note of the following when planning your event:

  • The day count includes neither the day on which the application is received by The Council nor the day the event begins.
  • Ten full working days is over two weeks and around Christmas, The New Year and Easter it can be getting on for three weeks as public holidays are not counted as working days.
  • If the application gets lost or delayed in the post, we have not received it in the sense above even if notionally we ‘should’ have. Notifications of insufficient postage are rejected as a matter of course. However, you can phone us if you wish to check that your application has arrived.
  • If an application does arrive but is not correctly made (required elements missing etc.), that also does not mean we have received it in the sense above. If we then return it to you for completion and the completed version only arrives after its deadline, that is not a valid application.
  • Sometimes an event is organised by a group of people, who agree to put one person in charge of any licensing aspects. This is of course perfectly allowed, but it can lead to unexpected application deadline difficulties, for example if the rest of the group suddenly decides it would like to sell alcohol at the event, but too close to the date of the event to apply for a TEN.

How to apply

The problems described above can be avoided completely by simply taking care and making the application well in advance as follows:

  • Print out and complete the Temporary Event Notice application form.
  • Pay the application fee of £21, using any of these methods:
  • by card by phoning 020 8545 3969 during office hours Mon-Fri (but this needs to be done before you send us your application rather than after)
  • by arranging a BACS transfer by phoning 020 8545 3969 (allow three working days for the payment to clear before submitting your application);
  • by enclosing a cheque (or postal order) with your application (payable to 'The London Borough of Merton'). Put today's date on the cheque, make sure the amount is correct in both words and figures and do not forget to sign it;
  • The Council's Cash Office closed on 30 September 2013. The only way to pay licensing fees in cash now is by reporting to Reception at Merton Civic Centre. When it is your turn, you will be asked for the amount and a cost code (G00740RB84). Keep one receipt and put the second with your application.

    [Please note that you cannot pay licensing fees at post offices or PayPoint - this only applies to certain Council payments such as Council Tax. Also, please do not send cash in the post under any circumstances.]

Then either
- apply electronically by scanning your application and sending it as one or more e-mail attachments to licensing@merton.gov.uk, explaining in the body of the e-mail what it is and quoting any payment reference that you have been given,


- post the original application form(s), enclosures and cheque (or proof of payment in paper form) to: Licensing, London Borough of Merton, 1st Floor Annexe, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5DX.

If you apply electronically, we will forward your e-mail to the responsible authorities below as required by the regulations and you will not have to. If you do not apply electronically but on paper, you must fulfil this requirement yourself by sending a copy of your application documentation (without the fee) to each of the two following bodies:

It is recommended that you send your copies by recorded delivery (or similar), so that you can prove that this requirement has been met.

The Chief Officer of Police,
Russ Stevens 852VW, Licensing Office, Wimbledon Police Station, 15 Queens Road, London, SW19 8NN

Environmental Health (Pollution) Manager,
1st Floor Annexe Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX

In the rare (but perfectly possible) circumstance that the premises for your event crosses the borough boundary so that part of it is situated in a neighbouring council area, you would need to send copies to that council in a similar way, as indicated on the application form.

Other things to be aware of

  • You cannot make this application online at this time.
  • A TEN can last for up to a maximum of 168 hours (this relates to the period during which licensable activities may be carried on, and does not relate to preparation, setting-up time, packing away or clearing up time).
  • The same premises cannot be used on more than 15 occasions in any calendar year. In addition, each premises is subject to an overall aggregate of 21 days use, irrespective of the number of individual occasions on which they have been used.
  • There must be a minimum of 24 hours between TENs at the same premises.
  • Personal licence holders can apply for up to 50 Standard TENs or 10 Late TENs (throughout England and Wales).
  • Non-personal licence holders can only apply for up to 5 Standard TENs or 2 Late TENs (throughout England and Wales).

Contact us

London Borough of Merton
1st Floor Annexe
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3969
email: licensing@merton.gov.uk