Sex establishments

Important Information

Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 allows for the licensing of sex establishments, which includes sex shops and sex cinema. 

A sex shop is any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business that consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles.

Legislation identifies a category of sex establishment called a ‘Sexual Entertainment Venue’ and gives the Council the power properly regulate and control such venues that might otherwise operate outside the law. The Council passed a resolution (PDF 80.1kb) to adopt this new legislation from 1 November 2010.

The following forms of entertainment, as they are commonly understood, are likely to be included:

  • Lap dancing 
  • Pole dancing 
  • Table dancing 
  • Strip shows 
  • Peep shows 
  • Live sex shows

Certain factors need to be considered when applying for a sex establishment licence, which are contained in the Council's adopted Policy (PDF, 427Kb) for such premises. 

To apply, complete the application form below and provide information regarding how the Council's Policy and conditions will be met. Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

There are no licensed sex establishments in the borough at the present time and the Policy sets a limit of zero for any such premises in the Borough.



By post:

Please contact the Licensing Service if you require more information regarding an application for a Sexual Entertainment Venue. 

The current application fee is £2,015.68

The licence fee of £2,190.25is comprised of (a) an initial fee of £1,1225.22and (b) a successful application fee of £790.46. For ease, the full licence fee can be paid on application. In such cases, fee (b) would be refunded if your application is refused.  

If you wish to pay fee (a) and fee (b) separately, please contact the Licensing Service. Fee (a) should be paid on application and fee (b) should be paid if your licence is granted.  

Please note that successful applicants will not be issued with a licence without payment of the fee in full.

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Will tacit consent apply?

There is a 28 day consultation period on all applications. Following this period, the application must be determined by the Licensing and Appeals Committee in due course. This will be done expediently as possible but it is not possible to set definite timescales.

Tacit consent does not apply due to public concern.