Sex establishment licence

Sex establishment policy

We adopted our current sex establishments policy on 7 November 2011. This replaces the previous policy that is published with our Statement of Licensing Policy 2011.

On 28 October 2014 we approved a policy addendum to provide additional clarification to operators on policy condition 59, which prohibits private booths in Sexual Entertainment Venues in Camden.

The policy sets out the approach we will take when determining applications:

Character of relevant localities

The Council has discretion to refuse applications where the grant would be inappropriate having regard to the character of the relevant locality and the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put.

In general, we will treat the ward in which the premises is situated as the relevant locality, although a different view may be taken following representations in individual cases, e.g. where the premises is close to a ward boundary. As for 'vicinity', this will be determined in the circumstances of each case, although as a general guideline a radius of 250 metres will be taken.

In exercising its discretion on these grounds, the Council will take into account the following:

  • schools or other facilities frequented by children such as playgrounds and playgroups
  • cultural facilities such as museums, theatres and cinemas
  • facilities frequented primarily by women such as well woman clinics
  • places of worship
  • public leisure facilities such as leisure centres, parks and open spaces
  • community buildings such as community centres, libraries and drop in centres
  • places used by vulnerable persons such as hostels and other adult social care facilities
  • residential premises
  • hospitals and other medical facilities
  • other sex establishments

The premises to be licensed will be considered to be 'in the vicinity' of other premises where those other premises are situated within a 250m radius of the premises that are the subject of the application. Whether the premises are within 250 metres of sensitive premises or not, the licensing panel shall also consider other factors outlined in the policy.

Limit on appropriate number of sex establishments

For the purposes of the policy, each ward has been determined to be a locality. The Council has considered the nature of its wards and determined that a presumption exists that any application for a sex establishment licence in any of Camden’s wards shall be refused, save for in exceptional circumstances.

The presumption to refuse shall not apply to:

  • the renewal or variation of an existing sex establishment licence; or
  • the grant of a new sex establishment licence during the transitional period 1 November 2011 to 31 October 2012 to operators that can demonstrate that during the 12 months prior to the commencement of the transitional period they have been regularly providing sexual entertainment in premises that previously fell to be licensed only under the Licensing Act 2003.

Other considerations

In all cases, other factors we will consider when determining applications are:

  • proximity to sensitive premises
  • the nature of any logo for the sex establishment
  • the nature of any external images or advertisements at the sex establishment
  • whether advertising inside the sex establishment can be viewed from outside
  • whether the name of the sex establishment clearly indicates the nature of the activities that take place there
  • whether the times the sex establishment is open coincide with the times relevant nearby premises are used
  • queuing arrangements for persons wishing to gain admission to the sex establishment
  • whether planning consent exists for the proposed use
  • whether there are any planned developments in the area that may render the locality unsuitable for a sex establishment
  • any comments received from persons about the grant of the licence
  • whether the applicant has had any enforcement action taken against them by the Police, the Council or other bodies such as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Revenue and Customs
  • whether the applicant is able to comply with the standard conditions applicable to all sex establishments and any special conditions the Council may consider appropriate to apply to that particular sex establishment licence
  • accessibility to the premises for disabled persons
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