Consultation on Licensing Policy for Sex Establishments
The consultation period has now closed.
Where Euro Network/Business Link logo is over on right hand side of page there is an ability to apply online. Alternatively, hard copy forms are available to download at the bottom of this page for submission to local authority via person, post or email (these will not be treated as an online application).
Sex establishments are required to be licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and are required by persons wishing to use any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall for the purposes of a sex establishment.
A sex shop is a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles. A sex cinema is any premises used to a significant degree for showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to simulate sexual activity. A sexual entertainment venue is a category of sex establishments that provide relevant entertainment before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer.
Relevant entertainment is any live performance or live display of nudity which is of such nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexual stimulating any member of an audience (whether by verbal or other means). An audience in this context can consist of just one person (e.g. where the entertainment takes place in private booths).
The definition of relevant entertainment would apply, but not limited to the following forms of entertainment as they are commonly understood:
- Lap dancing
- Pole dancing
- Table dancing
- Strip shows
- Peep shows
- Live Sex Shows
The above list is not exhaustive and, as the understanding of the exact nature of these descriptions may vary, should only be treated as indicative.
The process in which an application is made, includes advertising a notice of the application in the local press and displaying a notice outside the premises for a specific time period to give passersby the opportunity to comment by a statutory closing date. When considering an application for a licence the Council may only use the following criteria:
- the suitability of the applicant;
- whether the person applying is a "front" person for someone else;
- the location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area;
- whether the number of sex establishments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the Council considers appropriate for the area.
Once an application has been received an appointment will be made to carry out an inspection.
Who is eligible?
- must be at least 18 years old
- must not be disqualified from holding a licence
- must have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
- must not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal
For a summary of the regulation relating to this licence please use the link under External Links to the right of this page.
How will my application be evaluated?
Applications must be on the prescribed form and accompanied by the appropriate fee. You will be required to give public notice of your application by publishing a notice in a local newspaper. The notice should appear no later than 7 days after the date of the application. In addition, you will be required to display a notice on or near the premises for 21 days beginning on the date of the application which can be conveniently read by the public. When considering an application for a sex establishment licence the Council may consider the criteria above.
What happens if my application is not processed within the timescales stated?
Tacit consent does not apply. It is in the public interest that the Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period, please contact the Licensing Team.
How much does it cost?
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time an application is made. Full details are available on our Fees and Charges page.
Apply online or download a form
You can choose to apply online or download a form by accessing the External link on the right of this page.
These can be access or downloaded below. If you are unable to access them or require a hard copy please contact email@example.com.
If you wish to apply online please see the External Links above.
- Apply online:
- The Office of Public Sector Information - Operating from within the National Archives, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is at the heart of information policy, setting standards, delivering access and encouraging the re-use of public sector information. OPSI provides a wide range of services to the public, information industry, government and the wider public sector relating to finding, using, sharing and trading information.