Sex Establishments

All forms of Sex Establishments now require a licence from the Council.

What is a Sex Establishment?

The legislation permits the Council to licence the following as Sex Establishments:

  • Sex shops

  • Sex cinemas

  • Sexual entertainment venues - this would include premises which provide striptease, lap dancing, table dancing, live sex shows

All these venues are known as sex establishments. They can be any premises, vehicle or stall used as a business to sell, hire, exchange, lend, display or demonstrate a ''significant degree'' of sex articles or activity. Any person wishing to operate a sex establishment as defined by this Act will require a sex establishment licence form the Council.

Applying online for a Sex Establishment Licence

Apply for a licence for a sex establishment

Tell us about a change to your existing sex establishment licence

Meaning of sex shop

A 'sex shop' means any premises, vehicle or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating 'sex articles' or other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging sexual activity, or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

A 'sex article' meaning

Anything made for use in connection with, or for the purpose of, stimulating or encouraging sexual activity; or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

Any article containing or embodying matter to be read or looked at or anything intended to be used, either alone or as one of a set, for the reproduction or manufacture of any such article; and to any recording of vision or sound which is concerned primarily with the portrayal, or primarily deals with or relates to, or is intended to stimulate or encourage, sexual activity or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity; or is concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deals with or relates to genital organs.

Meaning of sex cinema

A 'sex cinema' is any premises, vehicle or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures, by whatever means produced, which are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, or are intended to stimulate or encourage sexual activity; or are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, the genital organs.

A sex cinema does not include a dwelling house to which the public is not admitted.

Meaning of sexual entertainment venue

Any premises at which 'relevant entertainment' is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of an organiser. For the purposes of the Act it does not matter whether the financial gain arises directly or indirectly from the performance or display of nudity.

'Relevant entertainment' means any live performance or live display of nudity which is of such a nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purposes of sexually stimulating any member of the audience (whether by verbal or other means). An audience includes an audience of one.

The following are not defined as sexual entertainment venues:

  1. Sex cinemas and sex shops.
  2. Premises at which the provision of 'relevant entertainment' is such that:
    1. there have not been more than eleven occasions on which relevant entertainment has been so provided which fall (wholly or partly) within the period of 12 months;
    2. no occasion has lasted for more than 24 hours, and;
    3. no occasion has begun with the period of one month beginning with the end of any previous occasion on which relevant entertainment has been so provided.

The Home Office has produced guidance on Sexual Entertainment Venues for Local Authorities carrying out their functions. it will also be of use to operators, the police and the general public. The legislation can be found under the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

Sex Establishment Fees

  • New Application                                  £3,600.00

  • Application to transfer licence             £600.00

  • Application to vary licence                  £2,600.00

Each premises granted a Sex Establishment Licence has to reapply for the licence on an annual basis at a cost of £3,600.00.

An applicant:

  • 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 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal

See summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence.

As part of the application process for the grant or renewal of a licence, applicants are required to display a notice at the proposed site for 21 days from the date of application. A public notice must also be placed in a local newspaper giving details of the application.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to send a copy of the application to the police within 7 days of the application being lodged with the Council.

The Council will also send copies of the application, and seek comments, from the agencies listed below:

  • Local Ward Councillors

  • Parish Councils

  • Child Protection Officers

  • Environmental Services Departments

  • Any other relevant persons/organisations deemed appropriate by the Council

Application Evaluation Process

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

Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and contain any information the local authority requires, 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.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the website or use the contact details below.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact your Local Authority 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 your Local Authority in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaint

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 a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, advice is available at From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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.

Other Redress

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.

Further information

If you require any further information or advice about a Sex Establishment Licence please contact the Licensing department using the contact details below:-

Erewash Borough Council
Licensing Office
Civic Centre
Derby Road
Long Eaton
NG10 1HU

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call: 0115 9071113
Fax: 0115 9071121