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We offer a pre-application advice service to support applicants who are considering making an application for a licence. This service is currently available to those making an application under the following licensing regimes:

  • Licensing Act 2003
  • Gambling Act 2005
  • London Local Authorities Act 1991 – Part II (Special Treatments)
  • The Animal Welfare (licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018
  • Street Trading  London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended)
  • Pavement Licences – Business and Planning Act 2020 
  • Other Applications or Registrations – please email us your query

Why use this service?

The pre-application advice is designed to support applicants in understanding:

  • that the right type of licence is being applied for
  • the application form has been completed correctly
  • what policies may be applied to an application and why
  • the needs of the local area where the proposed premises is situated
  • any specific measures that may need to be considered when submitting an application
  • if specialist input may be required, for example, Responsible Authorities, Safety Advisory Group.

The Licensing Service can help you

  • understand and be aware of relevant policies
  • identify any requirements for specialist input for example, responsible authorities
  • check your application and supporting documentation to ensure compliance with legislative requirements
  • reduce the time and cost you spend working on the application
  • explain or make you aware of when an application is unacceptable – does not meet legislative or policy requirements
  • carry out an admin service to deal with the circulation and production of application forms and public notices on your behalf

Benefits to you

  • Save time - Applications can be delayed due to basic errors - avoid these delays by using our services.
  • Save money – Licensing Officers at Merton will help ensure the process will not need to be re-started; you will avoid incurring additional costs in re-submitting applications, plans, advert notices etc.
  • Give you peace of mind – Licensing Officers will make sure your application is correctly completed, ensure that you only apply for what you need and ensure that your licence is fit for purpose. 
  • Secure – Licensing Officers will ensure your application is electronically submitted and depending on the type of application, serve on the relevant Responsible Authorities.

Categories of advice

Please consider each category to determine which option will be most suitable for your application.

  • Notice preparation and place on site (subject to resources)
  • Check and Send
  • Pre-application Consultation

View our charges for this service. Charges are based on the application type.

Make a request for pre-application advice

Request from for licensing pre-application advice.

Email the completed form to: licensing@merton.gov.uk

If you have any problems accessing the form or completing it, please call 0208 545 3969.

Once we receive your request we will contact you to take payment over the phone by debit or credit card. Once payment has been received we will contact you within five working days.

What is provided with Notice preparation and place on site?  

We will:

  • Advise you on the content of the statutory notice
  • Assist you with completion of the statutory public and press notices and provide you with completed copies of the required notices.
  • Print the notice and display it on site/at the premises for you in a prominent place so that members of the public can easily view the notice.
  • Give you an acceptance date of your application so that the relevant statutory consultation period commences immediately from that date.

What is provided with the Check and Send service?

Licensing Officers will meet with you to do a pre-submission validation check to ensure there are no errors or omissions that may result in an application being rejected as invalid.

We will:-

  • Check your application to ensure it is valid and has been correctly completed.
  • Submit electronically on your behalf to the appropriate Responsible Authorities.
  • Give you an acceptance date so that the relevant statutory consultation period commences immediately from that date.
  • Check the statutory public and press notices and provide you with completed copies of the required notices. 
  • Submit on your behalf to the relevant Responsible Authorities
  • Serve the application on the existing Designated Premises Supervisor.

What is provided with the Pre-application consultation Service?

We will do a pre-submission validation check of your application form and give advice on the legislation, our policy and (where appropriate) the kind of conditions you might want to offer in the operating schedule. This will be helpful for applicants/licence holders to:

  • gain an understanding of potential issues that may arise from their application
  • consider any appropriate conditions and/or comments that may alleviate concerns of consultees or Responsible Authorities
  • understand any policy implications arising from their application
  • understand the likelihood of the application being successful

What you can expect from this service

  • we will give you advice from experienced Licensing Officers who will link in with experienced individuals from the Licensing Enforcement Team, and some of the Responsible Authorities e.g. Environmental Health (Noise and Nuisance) Team,  Trading Standards, Environmental Health (Health and Safety) Team as appropriate.
  • we will assist you to complete application forms and associated documents;
  • we will provide advice in line with the Council's relevant adopted policy;
  • we will advise you regarding the role of Responsible Authorities;
  • we can highlight to you particular issues you may need to consider for your specific application;
  • advice regarding advertising your application and we will provide you with any notices that are required to be displayed at your premises and if required in the local newspaper;
  • advice on appropriate conditions taking into account the type and style of the operation intended at the premises, its location and in consultation with relevant Responsible Authorities.
  • advice on nominating an appropriate designated premises supervisor
  • advice on matters you may need to consider to assess possible noise transmission to neighbouring properties, dependent on the type of operation proposed for the premises.
  • advice on the process and what to expect


Any advice given will be from our Licensing Team, acting in their roles as Responsible Authorities under the provisions of Section 13 of The Licensing Act 2003.

With regard to any pre-application advice, the written confirmation will state that pre-application advice will not give applicants any exemptions from the licensing process. Responsible Authorities, including the licensing team may still make a representation against the application and the application may still need to be heard at a Licensing Sub-Committee for a decision to be made.

The advice given will not include views from other responsible authorities such as the Police, Fire Authority, etc. Determining any application that is subject to representations will be the function of the Licensing Sub-Committee who will consider the application and the representations on its own merits and determine the application accordingly on the basis of whether it promotes the licensing objectives.