Sex Establishment Policy Consultation

Closed 31 Oct 2019

Opened 15 Apr 2019


We are asking local people for their views on the licensing of sexual entertainment venues, sex shops and sex cinemas across Sheffield.

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 permits local authorities to licence / regulate premises that undertake business as a sex shop, sex cinema, and / or a sexual entertainment venue. Sheffield City Council has adopted the legislation.

Sexual entertainment venues - means any premises at which relevant entertainment (lap dancing; pole dancing; table dancing; strip shows; peep shows and live sex shows. This list is not exhaustive and should only be treated as indicative.) is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer.

Sex shop - means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business consisting to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating:

(a) sex articles; or

(b) other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging -

i. sexual activity; or

ii. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

Sex cinema - means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures related to, or intended to stimulate or encourage, sexual activity, acts of force or restraint associated with sexual activity, or concerned primarily with the portrayal of or primarily deal with, or relate to, genital organs or excretory or urinary functions, but does not include a dwelling house to which the public is not admitted.

There is no requirement under the legislation to adopt a policy.  A policy will act as a guide for licence applicants, decision makers and anyone making a representation against licence applications and gives assurance that all applications will be dealt with consistently and on their own merits, and may set assumptions on how applications will be dealt with.

The Council has a current policy that was adopted in April 2011 which can be viewed at

Why We Are Consulting

We are now running a consultation on a draft sex establishment policy.

The policy being consulted on was originally drafted throughout the latter part of 2016 and 2017 and was approved at Licensing Committee on 23rd November 2017 with a commencement date of 1st January 2018. However, the policy was subject to a judicial review and the Council undertook that the policy would be subject to another round of consultation. This consultation is to meet that undertaking.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Targeted