Sex Establishments

Sex Establishments require a licence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

A sex establishment can either be a sex shop or a sex cinema.

In addition, a sexual entertainment venue will require a licence. A sexual entertainment venue is defined as any premises at which 'relevant entertainment' is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer. The forms of 'relevant entertainment' commonly understood to be connected with sexual entertainment venues are (though this is not a comprehensive list):

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

Licences for sex establishments can be granted for up to one year.

Sex Establishment Licensing Policy

Although not a legal requirement, in the same way as with alcohol licensing or the licensing of gambling premises, it is considered good practice and helpful for Councils to have written policies in relation to the sex establishment licensing function.

This Council is of the opinion that the adoption of a specific sex establishment licensing policy will encourage transparency and consistency in considering and granting such licence applications. It will also provide clarity and guidance for Officers, Councillors, prospective applicants, partner organisations and the public.

This Authority's current Sex Establishment Licensing Policy can be found under Related Documents on this webpage.

Review of Sex Establishment Licensing Policy

The current policy has not been reviewed since its adoption in February 2011. With this in mind, the Authority has reviewed the current processes and procedures, which has resulted in the proposed policy amendments shown in the consultation document below.

We are asking for views on the proposed policy amendments, as well as the current policy document, before a decision is made on the adoption of an updated and revised policy.

Our consultation document can be found under Related Documents on this webpage. If you wish to make any comments on the proposed policy amendments, please let us have those comments by 1 March 2019 at the latest. Comments can be emailed to: