The process of applying for off-trade licences is set to turn into an elevent-hour rush.
Under new rules, store owners need to reapply for premise licences before August 6 if they want to extend their licensing hours.
But Kevin Hawkins, director general of the British Retail Consortium, who sits on the Higher Ministerial Strategy Group monitoring how the Licensing Act is being applied, said smaller retailers were delaying applying. “The forms are 27 pages long. The one-size-fits-all form hasn’t worked. My impression is that progress for applications is going very slowly, but that there will be a sudden flood of them from July onwards,” he said.
The Association of Convenience Stores said it was concerned by the low volume of applications and lack of retailer knowledge. A spokesman urged local authorities not to delay applications.