Sex shop and cinema licence
You may need a licence from us if you wish to:
- run a sex establishment (any premises selling sex toys, books or videos)
- run a venue where explicit films are shown to the public
- operate a sexual entertainment venue (for example a lap dancing club, strip club, pole/table dancing club or peep show).
However, you may apply to the council requesting us to waive the requirement of a licence.
You can apply for a sex shop and cinema licence or apply to change a sex shop and cinema licence on the Gov.UK website.
Apply for a sex shop and cinema licence
Apply to change a sex shop and cinema licence
For information about fees please see the licensing fees page on this website.
Am I eligible for a licence?
- 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 twelve months, unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal
- sex establishment policy (PDF, 703KB)
What happens next?
Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached. Applications must contain any information we require, as well as the applicant's name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age plus the address of the premises.
Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.
When will a decision be made?
You can expect to be contacted by the Licensing Team within 14 days of receipt of your application. We would normally expect to let you know our decision on your application within 30 days of receipt.
Will tacit consent apply
No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the us within a reasonable period, please contact us.
What if my application fails?
Please contact us in the first instance.
Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates' court.
However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:
- the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
- the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves
Licence holder redress
Please contact us in the first instance. A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, further information about making a complaint can be found on the Information for Consumers page of this website.
Licence holders may at any time apply to the authority for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in their licence.
If an application for a variation is refused, or if the licence is revoked, the licence holder may, within 21 days of being notified of the imposition of, or the refusal to vary, the term, condition or restriction in question, or of the revocation, appeal to the local magistrates' court.
A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a magistrates' court.
Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to the relevant authority, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.
Public register or database