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Sex shop and cinema licence

Licence summary 

To run a sex shop - i.e. any premises selling sex toys, books or videos - you may need a licence from the local authority. To run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, you also need a licence from the local authority. 

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

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 

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence (new window) (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982)

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.

Will tacit consent apply? 

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service (new window) or use the contact details below.

Fees and payment

The fee(s) for this application are as follows: £882

Apply online

Application for a sex shop and cinema licence (new window)

Application to change a sex shop and cinema licence (new window)

Failed application redress 

Please contact your Local Authority 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

Licence holder redress 

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local 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, Citizens Advice (new window) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (new window).

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.

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.

Contact details

Licensing Section, Public Protection, Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NF

Telephone: 01352 703030

Email: licensing@flintshire.gov.uk

In partnership with EUGO

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