Sex Establishments

Sex Establishments Licence

Corporate Policy for the Determination of Applications for Sex Establishments 

On 14 December 2010, the Council resolved to adopt the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2009 and subsequently drafted a policy for the determination of applications for sex establishments. The purpose of the Policy is to provide guidance on the way in which the Council will administer and enforce the requirements of the Act. 

At its meeting on 6 September 2011, the Council's Licensing Committee adopted the policy, but deferred its decision until the conclusion of a 10 week consultation period to afford interested parties an opportunity to make representations.

A consultation took place on this policy from 6 October to 16 December 2011 the results of which were reported to the Licensing Committee on 20 March 2012 and the Corporate Policy for the Determination of Applications for Sex Establishments was approved by full Council on 24 April 2012.

The Council has now reviewed and updated its Policy. A consultation took place on this revised policy from 26 October 2018 to 11 January 2019 the results of which were reported to Licensing Committee on 29 January 2019 when the Corporate Policy for the Determination of Applications for Sex Establishments was adopted.

Applying for a sex establishment licence

You will need a sex establishment licence if you want to run a sex shop, sex cinema or a sexual entertainment venue. Applicants should be aware that planning permission to operate a premises as a sex establishment may not be in place and the Council recommends that applicants ensure that the appropriate planning permission is in place prior to submission of an application for a licence. Licences will not generally be deemed to be appropriate if the premises is near, or in locations or areas containing any of the following:

  • schools, nurseries, crèches, youth hostels and other similar education or recreational facilities attended by children;
  • parks and children's play areas;
  • residential and community buildings;
  • alcohol or entertainments licensed premises;
  • places and or buildings of a historical/cultural interest, tourist attractions;
  • other retail units (and their uses).

The Council will consider the extent of the locality on a case-by-case basis taking into account the particular circumstances of each case.

Fees from 1 April 2024

  • Grant of Sex Shop - £4024.80
  • Grant of Sex Cinema - £4024.80
  • Grant of Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence - £6,707.70
  • Renewal of Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence - £3,354.90
  • Transer of Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence - £673.30
  • Variation of Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence - £673.30

How to apply

You can apply online through the GOV.UK website

Apply by post

Please submit a sex establishment application pack. All applications (grant/variation/transfer and renewal) including the correct fee must be submitted to the licensing authority.  Please address them to:

Licensing Officer (Alcohol & Entertainment)
Ribble Valley Borough Council
Council Offices
Church Walk
BB7 2RA.

Applicants must give a notice of application of sex establishment licence by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper that is circulated in the Council's area no later than 7 days after the date the application is made.

Where the application relates to premises, a notice should also be displayed on or near the premises in a place where members of the public can conveniently read it. The notice should be displayed for a period of 21 days beginning with the date the application was made.

Submitting a copy of your application to the Police

You must submit a copy of your application to the Police at the address below within 7 days of submitting the application to the Licensing Department.

East Division Licensing
Blackburn Town Centre Police Station
St John’s Court
Ainsworth Street

If the application is submitted electronically then it is the responsibility of the Council to send a copy of it to the Police, not later than 7 days after the date the application is received.

Commenting on licence applications

Any person can object to an application. The objection should be relevant to the grounds set out in the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Schedule 3 Paragraph 12 for refusing the licence. Anyone wishing to object must give notice of his or her objection in writing, stating the general terms of the objection and must do so witin 28 days of the date of the application. The Council will not without the consent of the person making the objection reveal their name or address to the applicant.

When objections are received

If objections are submitted, before refusing an application all applicants shall be given the opportunity to appear before and be heard by the Licensing Committee responsible for determining the application. The Licensing Committee may at its descretion hear representation from an objector at such hearing.

Licence Conditions

Once a licence has been granted, the Licensing Authority is able to impose conditions on that licence. In Ribble Valley, the Council has decided to produce standard licence conditions which shall apply to every licence granted, renewed or transferred unless they have been expressly  varied or excluded.

Duration of a Licence

Licences for sex establishments can be granted for up to one year.

Licensing Officer

Address: Council Offices
Ribble Valley Borough Council
Church Walk

Telephone: 01200 414454