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Sex Establishment Licensing Policy April 2021


Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has adopted schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended by section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009) (the"Act") so that the Council can licence sex shops, sex cinemas, and sexual entertainment venues in the Borough. Which are referred to as "sex establishments" unless stated otherwise.

The Council do not take a moral stand in adopting this policy and recognise that Parliament has made it lawful to operate a sex establishment, and that such businesses are a legitimate part of the retail and leisure industries. It is the role of a licensing authority to administer he licensing regime in accordance with the law.

The 1982 Act and the 2009 Act can be viewed on the website.

In developing this policy, we took into account the legal requirements of the 1982 Act and our duties under:

section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to take all reasonable steps to reduce crime and disorder within the Borough;

the Government's Regulators Code, not to impede economic progress by the regulations we set out and to particularly consider the impact of regulations on small businesses; and

the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 to ensure requirements are:

  • non-discriminatory
  • justified by an overriding reason relating to the public interest
  • proportionate to that public interest objective
  • clear and unambiguous
  • objective
  • made public in advance, and
  • transparent and accessible

The European Convention on Human Rights Article 1, Protocol 1 (protection of property) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression).


The Borough Of Stockton-On-Tees

The Borough of Stockton-on-Tees is one of five councils in the Tees Valley district - a mixture of busy town centres, urban residential areas and villages whilst maintaining a strong industrial presence. The population is around 200,000. The main urban areas are Stockton, Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Billingham and Yarm.

Potential operators should refer to the Councils Plans and accompanying documents on our website for details about the local planning authority's approach to granting planning permission for developments where such activities may take place.

As of the 1 December 2020, the Council has no licensed sex establishments under the 1982 Act.