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Licence - Sex Establishments

Sex Establishments are required to be licenced under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

A sex establishment can either be a Sex Shop or a Sex Cinema.

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 stimulate sexual activity.

A sexual entertainment venue is defined as any premises at which any live performance or live display of nudity is provided, which is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience. Lap dancing, strip shows and similar entertainment will fall under this definition

The law defines the way in which an application is made, which include advertising notice of the application in the local press and displaying a notice outside the premises for a specific time period to give passers by the opportunity to comment by a statutory closing date.

When considering an application for a sex establishment 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 establisments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the Council considers appropriate for the area

Sex Establishment Policy

Sex Establishment Policy This document is a PDF file and will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Reader to view it.(304KB )

Your Right of Appeal

  • Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates' Court.
  • An appeal against a decision made at the Magistrates Court may be appealed at the Crown Court but the decision of the Crown Court is final.

Offences and Penalties

  • Anybody who operates a sex establishment without a licence or fails to comply with licence condition or admits persons under the age of 18 is committing an offence.
  • Penalties upon conviction can range from £1,000 to £20,000.

Further Information

Copies of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1963 can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

A copy of the legislation can be viewed at the Council Offices where you can also obtain an application form and a copy of our standard conditions.

Contact Telephone: 01462 474579 or 474832
Contact email: service@north-herts.gov.uk