Sex Establishments Licences Further Information

A licence is required for a Sex Establishment which is a sex shop or a sex cinema.

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

  1. sex articles; or
  2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

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:-

  1. are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, or are intended to stimulate or encourage:-
    1. sexual activity; or
    2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity
  2. are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to genital organs or urinary or excretory functions, but does not include a dwelling-house to which the public is not admitted.

No premises shall be treated as a sex cinema if the premises are licensed under section 1 of the Cinemas Act 1985.

A Sex Establishment Licence is normally in force for one year or for such period as the Council may think fit. As the Council has not previously dealt with a Sex Establishment Licence a licence fee has not been set.

View the Sex Establishment Licensing Policy and Procedure

Application Requirements

Sex Establishments are required to be licensed under Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 ("the Act"). Section 2 of this Act provides for the adoption of the provisions contained within Schedule 3 which then allows local authorities who have instigated such procedures to control by way of a licensing regime, sex establishments in their particular area. Amber Valley formally adopted the provisions of Schedule 3 with effect from 1983.

A Sex Establishment can either be a Sex Shop or a Sex Cinema.

The Act defines a Sex Shop as follows:-

"Any premises, vehicle, vessel or store used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles or 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".

A sex article is defined in the Act as:-

  1. anything made for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging -

    1. sexual activity; or

    2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity and

  2. anything to which the sub-paragraph below applies.

    This sub-paragraph applies -

    1. to 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

    2. to any recording of vision or sound, which -

      1. 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

      2. is concerned primarily with the portrayal of or primarily deals with or relates to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions.

The Act defines a Sex Cinema as follows:

"Any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures 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 are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions."

The law defines the way in which an application is to be made, which includes giving public notice of the application in the local press and by displaying a notice in a prominent position on or near the premises concerned for a specific period of time to give members of the public an opportunity to comment upon the application. The Act prevents the Council from providing the names and addresses of objectors to the applicant unless the person objecting consents to the release of that information. When processing such representations we will send all letters of objection received to the applicant with names and addresses deleted.

The Act sets out a number of statutory grounds where licences cannot be granted. These grounds are:-

  1. A licence cannot be granted to a person under 18 years,
  2. A licence cannot be granted to a person disqualified under the Act,
  3. A licence cannot be granted to a person not resident in the UK,
  4. A licence cannot be granted to a body corporate which is not incorporated in the UK,
  5. A licence cannot be granted to a person who has, within 12 months immediately before the date of an application, being refused the grant of a licence for the same premises.

The Act allows for licences to be refused using discretion and for which careful and balanced reasons need to be given in respect of the following matters:

  • That the applicant is unsuitable to hold the licence by reason of having being convicted of an offence or for any other reason.

  • If the licence were to be granted, the business to which it relates would be managed by or carried on for the benefit of a person, other than the applicant who would be refused the grant, renewal or transfer of such a licence if he made the application himself.

  • That the number of sex establishments in the relevant locality at the time the application is made is equal to or exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate for that locality.

  • That the grant of the licence would be inappropriate having regard -

    1. to the character of the relevant locality

    2. to the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put or

    3. to the layout, character or condition of the premises in respect to which the application is made.    

Relevant locality is defined as the locality where the premises are situated.

A licence can be granted for a period of one year or such shorter periods as considered necessary. Licences can be granted subject to terms, conditions or restrictions. An application fee is payable for an application for the grant of an application and thereafter a renewal fee is payable. The current fee is £2,500.

Licences can be cancelled, revoked, varied and transferred.

Exemptions

A licence is not required for the sale or supply or demonstration of articles which are manufactured for use primarily for the purposes of birth control or primarily relate to birth control.

Appeal Provisions

An applicant who is aggrieved by a decision to refuse a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject to, may appeal to the Magistrates' Court. An appeal against a decision made at the Magistrates' Court may be appealed at the Crown court but the decision of the Crown Court is final.

Offences and Penalties

Anybody who operates a sex establishment with a licence or fails to comply with licence conditions or admits persons under the age of 18 years commits an offence. Penalties upon conviction can range from £1,000 to £20,000.

Further Information

Copies of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

A copy of the application form, public notice and standard conditions can be downloaded from this site.

Contact Details
Rate This Page

Thank you for rating our page as .

Your feedback is very important as it enables us to continually improve our site to meet your needs.

Please give a brief explanation of why you considered this page to be  and click on the submit button below to confirm your rating.



+ Additional Contact details (optional)



If you have a general comment or complaint about the Council's services, please visit our comments or complaints page.
rate page as good  rate page as average  rate page as poor 

Do you need further information?

If for some reason you are unable to find the information which you require on our website, you can contact us by the following methods.


address logoAmber Valley Borough Council, Licensing Section, Town Hall, Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
address logo01773 570222 *Calls are recorded for quality and training purposes
address logolicensing@ambervalley.gov.uk
address logoComplete our online enquiry form
address logoText the word COUNCIL followed by your message to 60060 *Standard network rates apply
This site uses simple text files called 'cookies' to collect statistics about the number of people using the website, but they don't tell us who you are. Cookies help us keep the site relevant and up-to-date. By continuing to browse the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more