Skip to content

Sex Establishments Licensing

A Sex Establishment Licence issued by the local authority may be needed if you intend to run one of the following:

  • A sexual entertainment venue – for example a lap dancing or pole dancing club
  • A sex shop - any premises selling sex toys, books or videos
  • A sex cinema - a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public

However, you may apply to the local authority requesting them to waive the requirement of a licence.


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

Application evaluation process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

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.

Stroud District Council's sex establishments licensing policy


Failed application redress

Please contact Stroud District Council 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

From 1st April 2024 


Licence Type


Sex Establishment Licence


New and Variation Applications


Renewal and Transfer Applications