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Sex shops licence

Sex Establishments are required to be licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

  • ​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 include 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 we may only use the following criteria and cannot take into account moral arguments about whether such establishments should be allowed:

  • The suitability of the applicant
  • The location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area
  • Whether the number of sex establishments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the council considers appropriate for the area

Eligibility criteria

An applicant:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • Must have been resident in the UK at least 6 months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
  • Must not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal

​Application evaluation process

  • Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.
  • Applications must contain any information that we require, 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.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us using the contact details provided.

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence contact the licensing service.

Failed application redress

Please contact the Licensing Service in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:

  • The number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
  • 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

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.

Licence holder redress

Please contact the Licensing Service in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.

​​Other redress

Licence holders may at any time apply to the authority for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in their licence.

If an application for a variation is refused, or if the licence is revoked, the licence holder may, within 21 days of being notified of the imposition of, or the refusal to vary, the term, condition or restriction in question, or of the revocation, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a magistrates' court.

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a lice​nce 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.

Contact

01706 924114


Licensing counter drop-in sessions, Number One Riverside​

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9am-11am and 2pm-4pm

Friday ​9am-11am

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU