Sexual entertainment establishment licence

Why do I need a licence?

All sex establishments operating within East Staffordshire require a licence to operate issued by the local authority.

A sex establishment means a sex shop or a sex cinema.

Meaning of sex cinema

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; or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity
  • are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions.

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

A premises shall not be treated as a sex cinema by reason only:

  • if they are licensed under Section 1 of the Cinemas Act 1985, of their use for a purpose for which a licence is required; or of their use for an exhibition to which section 6 of that Act (certain non-commercial exhibitions) applies given by an exempted organisation within the meaning of section 6(6) of that Act.

Meaning of sex shop

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
  • 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.

No premises shall be treated as a sex shop by reason only of their use for the exhibition of moving pictures by whatever means produced.

A ‘sex article’ means:

  • 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 of, 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, or urinary or excretory functions.

Must I meet a certain criteria before I can apply for a licence?

An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • must not be disqualified from holding a sex establishment licence
  • must have been resident of an EEA State at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in an EEA State
  • 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

What legislation applies?

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

What conditions are attached to the licence once issued?

East Staffordshire Borough Council will issue standard conditions relating to Sex Establishments.

How will my application will be determined?

To make an application, you will need to provide us with the following:

  • a completed application form
  • application fee
  • copy of a scaled plan delineating the specific rooms or premises to which your application relates with escape routes (in case of emergency) indicated
  • copy of a scaled location plan in relation to your application
  • any additional information in support of the application (where applicable).

Within seven days of making the application the applicant must ensure that:

  • The application is sent to the chief officer of Staffordshire Police.
  • The application is publicised locally by publishing a public notice in a local newspaper and by attaching a notice on or near to the premises wishing to be licensed.

Advice on the content of the advert and notice can be obtained from the Licensing Team.

The application will be considered together with any objections received by the Local Authority. This will be in the form of a hearing before the Council’s General Licensing Sub Committee.

Having considered all of the factors of an application the Council will either decide to grant or refuse the licence.

How much will it cost?

Please see our licensing fees page.

How long will it take to process my application?

We will endeavour to process your application within 28 days. If acknowledgement of receipt of your application has not been received within this time, please contact us.

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.

How do I apply?

Online

Paper

If my application is refused how do I appeal?

Please contact us in the first instance for details of how to appeal.

How do I tell you about a change that may affect my licence?

You must notify us in writing of any changes to your current licence.

What if I have a complaint or concern?

If you have a complaint or concern about a Sex Establishment Licence, please contact us.

General advice

If you are in the UK, advice is available from adviceguide

f you are outside the UK, advice if available from the UK European Consumer Centre

Can I view a public register on line?

No, as this register is not available for public inspection.