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Place Approval for Civil Marriage or Partnership

Licence summary If you wish to hold a civil wedding or civil partnership registration in premises in Northern Ireland , they must first be approved by the Council
Eligibility Criteria

Who can apply?

Place approval - an application for a Place Approval may be made by the proprietor or a Trustee of suitable premises for use as a civil marriage/civil partnerships venue

Temporary Approval - these applications must be made by either of the parties to an intended civil marriage/civil partnerships.

Approval shall not be granted where the Council is of the opinion that the applicant is not a fit and proper person.

What premises/ locations can be approved?

Any premises/location that meets the requirements of the Council's Approval process.

The following conditions will determine suitability:

  • The premises/ location must provide an appropriate and dignified setting for the celebration of marriage/civil partnerships.
  • Civil marriages/civil partnerships must be solemnised at identifiable places within the Registration district.
  • Health and Safety regulations and Fire regulations must be satisfied.
  • Public Liability Insurance must be provided.
  • The premises must not have a recent or continuing religious connection.
  • The safety of Registration Office staff and their legal documents will be a consideration as to the suitability of the premises.

Additional information

There is no limit to the number of rooms that can be approved for marriages. The Council would expect the number of rooms to be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion. Please note that each application fee covers the rooms contained in one building.

Marriages must only take place in a room/location which is approved.

A separate room must also be available for the confidential interviewing of the marriage parties.

Where approval is sought for outdoor locations appropriate shelter must be provided in case of inclement weather. If the alternative is a separate location (i.e. hotel where the reception is to be held) then Approval must be sought for this location as well.

Regulation Summary Marriage Regulations (NI) 2003
Civil Partnerships Regulations (NI) 2005
Application Evaluation Process

The Application Process

The information provided below is intended as a step-by-step guide through the process that an application for an "Approved Place for Marriage" is subject to before being approved or refused.

1. Application form with accompanying fee of £400 is recorded, receipted and checked.

2. In considering an application the Council may consult with the following :

  • The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
  • The Police Service for Northern Ireland
  • The District Registrar
  • The Council's Environmental Health Department
  • The Council's Building Control Department
3. On receipt of all replies from those bodies consulted and all the required documentation to support the application the premises will be inspected by a Council Officer and Register.
 
4. The applicant is required to give public notice by placing a Site Notice in a prominent position on the premises for a period of 21 days.

5. Any person may give notice of their objection to the application by writing to the Council. The Council will take into account any objections received when deciding on the grant of approval. A copy of any objections shall be sent to the applicant.

Conditions of Application

The following documents/ items are required in support of your application for a Place Approval:

1. The completed application form

2. The required fee of £400 - all cheques should be made payable to Moyle District Council

3. Three sets of plans for the place applied for showing the internal layout of the premises including the room to be used for the marriage and the room to be set aside for the Registrar. These plans must be of scale 1:100. If the place applied for is outdoors three location maps will be required indicating the marriage venue, along with points of entry and exit.

4. Details of public liability insurance in respect of the place for which approval is sought.

5. A suitable and sufficient risk assessment completed by a competent person, which should meet the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 200 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (NI) 2001.

6. Any other certification that may be deemed appropriate to determine the application (such as Fire Fighting Equipment test certificates, material flammability certificates etc.)

Will Tacit Consent Apply? No. It is in the public interest that Moyle District Council must process your application before it can be granted. The Police, NIFRS and local people have a legitimate interest in the outcome of entertainment licence applications. Tacit consent does not apply to minimise the risk of an approval being granted inadvertently and subsequently resulting in public safety being at risk. If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or telephone the Registar on 028 2076 2225, or email imcauley@moyle-council.org

Whilst Tacit Consent does not apply we will strive to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application, including issuing the licence, within 10 working days of the Council decision made in relation to the application.

Applicants will be made aware if objections have been made to an application at the first practicable opportunity.

Apply online
Contact Details
Tel: 028 2076 2225
Fax: 028 2076 2515
E-mail: imcauley@moyle-council.org
 
The Registar
Moyle District Council
Sheskburn House
7 Mary Street
Ballycastle
BT54 6QH
 
Failed Application Redress

Please contact Moyle District Council in the first instance.

Notification of decisions

(1) The authority shall, within 7 days of its decision, notify the applicant in writing of that decision including any conditions attached to an approval under regulation 13.

(2) If an application for an approval is refused, or if any conditions are attached under regulation 13(b), the authority shall include with the notification under paragraph (1) --

(a) the reason for its decision; and

(b) details of the right to a review of a decision

(3) The authority shall, at the same time as it notifies the applicant, send a copy of any approval to the registrar.

Appeal

(1) An applicant or an approval holder may appeal any decision made by an authority on to the county court.

(2) An appeal under paragraph (1) must be lodged within 28 days of the date of receipt of the notice served.

(3) An appeal under paragraph (1) may be made only on one or more of the following grounds --

(a) that the authority's decision was based on an error of law;

(b) that the authority's decision was based on an incorrect material fact;

(c) that the authority has acted contrary to natural justice; or

(d) that the authority has acted unreasonably in the exercise of its discretion

Licence Holder Redress
Please contact Moyle District Council in the first instance.

See also information above in relation to failed applications.
Consumer Complaint We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the Approval Holder by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Other Redress
Any complaints concerning how an approved premises operates, including complaints about breach of conditions, noise etc should be made directly to the Registar on 028 2076 2225, or by emailing imcauley@moyle-council.org
 
Trade Associations None


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