Sex establishment licence
Sex shops and cinemas
Sex establishments are required to be licenced under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Waveney District Council has a policy of allowing only one sex establishment in the district. A sex establishment can either be a sex shop or a sex cinema.
- A sex shop is a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles.
- A sex cinema is any premises used to a significant degree for showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.
The law defines the way in which an application is made, which includes advertising notice of the application in the local press and displaying a notice outside the premises for a specific time period to give passers by the opportunity to comment by a statutory closing date.
When considering an application for a sex establishment licence the Council may only use the following criteria:
- the suitability of the applicant
- whether the person applying is a 'front' person for someone else
the location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area
- whether the number of sex establisments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the Council considers appropriate for the area.
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, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre .
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.
Offences and penalties
Anybody who operates a sex establishment without a licence or fails to comply with licence condition or admits persons under the age of 18 is committing an offence. Penalties upon conviction can range from £1000 to £20,000.