The deadline for transferring old-style alcohol licences to new ones has passed, and it looks as if as many as 25% of traders have missed their opportunity to claim new premises and personal licences under grandfathers’ rights.

Local authorities contacted by C-Store after the deadline on August 6 had all experienced the predicted last-minute rush of paperwork, but most said they had received applications from 70%-90% of licensed premises in their area.

As C-Store went to press it was too early to get a definitive breakdown of applications, but the general view is that most pubs have managed to submit their applications in time, with the shortfall largely accounted for by small shops and village halls. Many of these may have decided that the extra expense of a new-style licence could not be justified by the sales revenue generated and will simply stop selling alcohol when the new licensing regime will come into force on November 24, 2005.

Birmingham City Council had received 1,961 applications out of 2,500 licensed premises by the deadline, a hit rate of 78.5%, with 560 applications out of the 719 off licences in the city received.

Head of licensing Peter Barrow confirmed there had been a late rush with 232 applications coming through in the last week, while the council’s licensing office was open until 5pm on Saturday to collect last minute applications. The council was also accepting applications posted on August 5, taking into consideration problems with the post.

Barrow said the council would now be concentrating on helping those who have yet to get their application in to do so before the November deadline.

West Oxfordshire District Council opened its offices at 11pm on Saturday August 6 in order to accept last-minute applications. And the extra effort seems to have paid off, as 100% of pubs and 98% of off licences in the area managed to submit their forms in time.

Traders who have failed to transfer their licence to the new format will have to apply for new premises and personal licences from scratch.

Application levels

Leicester: 850 applications received out of 1,200 premises - 71%.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 80% of expected applications.

Reading: 63% of expected applications

Birmingham :1,961 applications out of 2,500 licensed premises - 79%.

Leeds: 88% in by Friday night, expecting to be close to 100% after Saturday

West Oxfordshire: 99%

Swindon: 80-85% expected

London Borough of Hackney: 70-75% expected

Ealing: 60% expected

London Borough of Camden: 75-80% expected