Sex establishment

There are three types of sex establishments:

A sex shop means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles.

A sex cinema is any premises, vehicle, vessel 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

A Sexual Entertainment Venue is any premises at which relevant entertainment is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer.

Telford & Wrekin Council has adopted Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended by section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009) so that it can licence sex shops, sex cinemas and sexual entertainment venues in the Borough.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances a licence will be granted for a maximum of 12 months.

Telford & Wrekin Council have published a policy is to provide guidance for prospective applicants, existing licence holders, those who may wish to object to an application and for Members of the Council's Licensing Committee when making a determination on an application.

Relevant legislation: 

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

Application evaluation process

A fee of £1215 is payable for new applications, £700 for renewal applications and £820 for transfer of the licence. 

All licences are subject to the Licensing Authority's standard conditions for sex establishments and additional conditions may also be attached to the licence.

Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and contain the information requested by the form in addition to 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 and displaying a notice at the premises. The wording of these notices is prescribed and can be found by following the attached links below:

Notice to be displayed at premises template

This must be displayed as a public notice in a newspaper circulating in the area to which the premises is located.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes - Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted/approved.

Target completion period

Applications would normally be determined within 56 days of receipt of all the information necessary to determine the application.

Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Failed Application Redress

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 Telford & Wrekin 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 Telford & Wrekin Magistrates Court.

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 Telford & Wrekin. A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a magistrates' court.

Variation to licence:

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.

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, Citizens Advice consumer helpline will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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.

Public Registers or databases

A public register is available to view at the Council's Offices during normal office hours.  To view the registers please contact us.

Further information

Sex Entertainment Venues

Premises which provide relevant entertainment on an infrequent basis will continue to be regulated under the Licensing Act 2003, insofar as they are providing regulated entertainment under that Act, either by virtue of a premises licence or club premises certificate issued under Part 3 or Part 4 or a temporary events notice issued under Part 5 of that Act. Any premises that provide relevant entertainment on more occasions, more frequently or for a longer period of time than is permitted under the exemption will be operating as a sexual entertainment venue and will have committed an offence under Schedule 3 unless they hold a sexual entertainment venue licence or the local authority has waived the requirement for such a licence.

The meaning of 'relevant entertainment' is defined as "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 purpose of sexually stimulating any member of an audience (whether by verbal or other means)." An audience can consist of just one person (e.g. where the entertainment takes place in private booths).

Last updated: 2.17pm on Monday 1 April 2019

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