To operate a sex establishment a licence is required. 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.

More information on who can apply for a sex establishment licence.

Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.




Apply for a sex establishment licence

Tell us about a change to an existing licence


Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Appeals and objections

Applicants who are refused a licence or the renewal of a licence, can appeal to the local Magistrates’ court within 21 days of the refusal.

Appeals against a condition attached to a licence can be made to the local Magistrates’ court.   

The right to appeal does not apply where: the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate or the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves.

Any person can object to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence by giving written notice to the relevant authority within 28 days of the date of the application.

Report a problem

Report a concern about a licensed establishment.

Report a concern