Sex Establishment Venues

Following a public consultation between 16 December 2011 and 16 March 2012, this Council formally adopted legislation to control the activities of Sex Establishment venues on 27 April 2012. These measures give local people a greater say over where, and how many of these venues operate in their neighbourhoods.

Sex establishments include sex shops, sex cinemas and sexual establishment venues. Sexual establishment venues offer entertainment commonly described as:

  • lap dancing
  • pole dancing
  • table dancing
  • strip shows
  • peep shows
  • live sex shows

Sexual entertainment can still take place without the need for a premises being licensed as a sex establishment if it occurs infrequently, on no more than eleven occasions in a year, with at least one month's "other" entertainment in between.

Key controls

In summary, the legislation allows:

  • local people to oppose an application for a Sex Establishment Licence if they have legitimate concerns that a Sexual Entertainment Venue would be inappropriate given the character of an area, for example, if the area was primarily a residential area
  • the Council to set licence fees for businesses wishing to operate as a sexual establishment venue.  View the current licence fees charged by the Council. Licences to be renewed at least annually, at which point local people will have the opportunity to raise objections, if any, with their local authority
  • the council to reject a licence application if they believe that to grant a licence for a Sexual Entertainment Venue, including a lap dancing club, would be inappropriate given the character of a particular area
  • the Council to set a limit on the number of Sexual Entertainment Venues that they think is appropriate for a particular area
  • the Council to impose a wider range of conditions on the licences of Sexual Entertainment Venues than they are currently able to under the Licensing Act 2003

Transitional arrangements

By law the following transitional arrangements are in place to allow existing or new operators of such venues to apply for a licence:

  • any operator of an existing sexual entertainment venue within the borough who wants to continue providing 'relevant entertainment', as described above, after 27 April 2013 will be required to have a sex establishment licence

pdf icon View a copy of the Council's Sex Establishment Licensing Policy [282kb]

If you have any queries please telephone the Licensing Manager on 01784 446432 or e-mail licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk .