Licensees will no longer have to pay and apply for an amended license if Government proposals to streamline the Licensing Act 2003 gain support.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a public consultation on the rules around amending licences.
If accepted it would see the current £385 fee payable by publicans waived if only a "slight change to the way their business is run" is made.
Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "After two years it has become evident that it is not necessary for a premise to go through the full variation process if they are only making a small change, such as minor refurbishment.
"Local councils who are familiar with local licensed premises should have the discretion to decide when a variation is so insignificant that it's not necessary to go through the full variation process.
"If the public agrees, this deregulatory change could save business up to £2.8 million a year."
The consultation presents three options:
Give local councils the discretion to decide if a change is insignificant enough to qualify as ‘minor' (Government's preferred option).
Prescribe what is a minor variation on the face of the Act, taking away councils' discretion.
The consultation document can be found at on the DCMS website. It closes on 20 February.
By Christopher Walton
E-mail your comments to [Christopher Walton](mailto:Christopher.Walton@rbi.co.uk?subject=Licensees set to save £2.8m a year through Licensing Act reform) here.