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Sex Shop Licence

Sex Shop means:

Any premises vehicle vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating:

  • sex articles
  • other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purposes of stimulating or encouraging:
    • sexual activity
    • acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity”


Members of the public may make representations in support or against the initial grant or variation of a licence. They cannot make representation when the licence is renewed.

Who cannot be issued a licence

  • A person under eighteen
  • A person who has held a licence but it has been revoked
  • A person, other than a body corporate, who is not resident in the United Kingdom or was not so resident before the application
  • A body corporate which is not incorporated in the United Kingdom
  • A person who has within twelve months preceding the date of the application has been refused a licence

There are specific procedures by which such an application must be dealt with, particularly in the light of any objections that may be received.

Licence Conditions

We are able to limit the number of establishments permitted in any area.

If granted we can prescribe conditions which may include:

  • regulating opening hours
  • regulating displays or advertisements on or in sex establishments
  • regulating the visibility of the interior of the establishments to passers by
  • any change of a sex cinema to a sex shop or vice versa

In addition to the model conditions special conditions may also apply to an individual licence.

Licence Refusal

We may refuse to grant a licence if we believe:

  • the applicant is unsuitable by reason of conviction or any other reason
  • the business, if the licence was granted, would be for the benefit os a person who would be refused such a licence if they made application themselves,
  • that the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number that the licensing authority considers appropriate for that locality

Apply for a Sex Shop licence


  • Grant of new licence: £3,250
    £2,167 is payable on application and non-refundable. The remaining £1,083 will be payable when your application is approved
  • Renewal, transfer or variation £2,225
    £1,484 is payable on application and non-refundable. The remaining £741 will be payable when your application is approved



Contact the Licensing Section

Telephone: 01304 872295


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