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Sex establishments

Sex establishments and sex entertainment venues are licensed by the Council.

Sex establishments are defined in schedule three to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Under this Act you may need a licence from us to run a sex establishment, a sex shop or sex cinema.

A sex establishment means either a:

  • sex shop - a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles, or a
  • sex cinema - any premises used to a significant degree to show films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity
  • sexual entertainment venue - a premises where a live display/performance of nudity takes place in front of a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the performer.

An application will involve:

  • a notice advertising the application in the local press
  • a notice displayed outside the premises for a specific time period to give the public the opportunity to object to the application
  • copying the application to the Police.

Apply for a licence for a sex establishment

Sexual Entertainment Venues

A sexual entertainment venue is a category of sex establishments that provide relevant entertainment before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer. Applicants should be minded to have regard of the Home Office Guidance.

The forms of entertainment commonly understood to be connected with Sexual Entertainment Venues are (though this is not a comprehensive list):

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

The Act and guidance state that applications have to be treated individually and therefore all applications will and must be heard by full Licensing Committee.

Local residents and businesses

Local residents and business can object to new, renewal or variation applications. Objections relating to an application must be submitted to the Council in writing within the statutory 28 day time frame from the date a valid application is received by the Council.

Application evaluation process

Applications must contain any information that the Council 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.

If you do not supply the correct information, your application will not be processed. Where applications are refused or in-complete etc, an administration charge may apply. Please contact us for further information.

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 Runnymede Borough Council within a month of your initial application, please contact us.

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