Sex Establishments - sex shops, adult cinemas and sexual encounter venues

Licence summary

A licence is needed before a sex establishment can be operated in Wychavon. This includes any shop selling sex articles (toys, books or videos) to a significant degree -  or cinema showing adult categories of film.

Government has introduced a new category of sex establishment known as "sex encounter venues" and on 19th January 2011, our Licensing Committee resolved to recommend that the Council requires that any "sexual encounter venue" would need a licence. We plan to embrace this change and will develop a Policy and standard conditions soon. Our first draft can be read here.  Meanwhile, adult entertainment such as "lap dancing" can't be offered to the public without being included on a Premises Licence

NB A particular classification of Video Film (18 Restricted) can only be sold from a licensed sex establishment.

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 six 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
Regulation Summary

Read the legislation controlling sex establishment licensing

Application Evaluation Process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached. Our current fees and charges can be read  fees & charges. Applications must contain any information the local authority requires, 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 the authority grant a licence before you can operate as a sex establishment. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

Apply online

Online facilities are available through the national business link website.  Government Gateway registration is required to use this service (follow instructions from these links)

Apply through Business Link for a licence to operate a sex establishment in Wychavon

Tell us through Business Link about a change to your existing sex establishment licence

Apply by Post Please contact us for application forms, or download them from here. Send completed application forms back to us together with the application fee
Failed Application Redress

Please contact us, 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 (West Mercia Magistrates' Court Service, Castle Street, Worcester WR1 3QZ).

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
Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition imposed on the grant of a licence can appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

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.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.


Other Redress

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

Trade Associations



Further Information

All Licensing and Environmental Health Matters are now dealt with by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

For direct public enquiries and referrals:

General Customer Enquiries

Telephone: 01905 822799


Fax: 01905-617132

Worcestershire Regulatory Services