Sex establishment application evaluation

The first thing you must do is to complete an application form.

Before completing the application form, we would strongly advise you to make yourself aware of the conditions under which a licence can be refused.

Apply for a licence

When you are happy to proceed with the application form, take a photocopy.

You must:

  • send the original application form to the licensing section
  • send a photocopy of the form to the police
  • advertise your application in the local newspaper.

We will carry out a full consultation with anyone who could be affected by your business and then prepare a report for the licensing committee.

The licensing committee will review your application and consider any supporting evidence presented by yourself and the Council's licensing team. You will be informed in writing of the outcome.

Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, there are a number of circumstances where an application would not be granted:

  • if the applicant is unsuitable to hold a licence by reason of having been convicted of an offence or for any other reason
  • if the licence were to be granted, the business to which it relates would be managed by or carried on for the benefit of a person other than the applicant, who would be refused the grant of such a licence if they made the application themselves
  • that the number of sex establishments in the relevant locality is equal to or exceeds the number which the Authority considers is appropriate for that locality
  • that the granting of the licence would be inappropriate, with regard to the character of the relevant locality or the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put or the layout, character or condition of the premises.

You are advised to contact us to obtain a full list of possible reasons under which a licence may not be granted.

You have the right of appeal and must apply in writing to the magistrate's court within 21 days of receipt of the decision. At this stage you are advised to seek independent legal advice.

A licence for a sex/adult shop is valid for 12 months. You must reapply for a licence prior to the expiry of the licence.

The procedure for renewal of a licence is the same procedure that must be followed for a new application.

During the period that your licence is valid you may be inspected by a health and safety and/or licensing officers. They will make sure you are operating by the condition under which your licence was granted and make sure that you are meeting legal requirements.

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

Applications must contain:

  • any information the Council requires
  • the applicant's name and address where the applicant is an individual
  • the applicants age
  • the address of the premises.

Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us or do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service.