Sex Establishments

Sex Establishment Licensing

The Policing and Crime Act 2009 has reclassified lap dancing clubs as Sexual Entertainment Venues and gives local authorities in England and Wales the power to regulate them as Sex Establishments.

Such venues offer entertainment commonly described as:

  • Lap dancing
  • Pole dancing
  • Table dancing
  • Strip shows
  • Peep shows
  • Live Sex shows

Included in the definition of Sex Establishments are sex shops and sex cinemas.
Sexual entertainment can still take place without the need for a premises being licensed as a sex establishment if it occurs infrequently, on no more than eleven occasions in a year, with at least one month's "other" entertainment in between.

Mid Sussex District Council adopted the new provisions on 1st September 2010 and have published their Sex Establishment Venues Statement of Policy.

July 2016 - The policy has been reviewed and the decision taken to leave it unchanged.
It is being circulated for public consultation until 11 September 2016.

Comments can be made by email to or by letter to the Council Offices.

Key Proposed Changes

In summary, the amendments to Schedule 3 to the 1982 Act will:

  • Allow local people to oppose an application for a Sex Establishment Licence if they have legitimate concerns that a Sexual Entertainment Venue would be inappropriate given the character of an area, for example, if the area was primarily a residential area
  • Enable licences to be renewed at least annually, at which point local people will have the opportunity to raise objections, if any, with their local authority
  • Allow the council to reject a licence application if they believe that to grant a licence for a Sexual Entertainment Venue, including a lap dancing club, would be inappropriate given the character of a particular area
  • Allow the council to set a limit on the number of Sexual Entertainment Venues that they think is appropriate for a particular area
  • Allow the council to impose a wider range of conditions on the licences of Sexual Entertainment Venues than they are currently able to under the Licensing Act 2003

How do I apply?

Print and complete the following forms and return to the Licensing Team enclosing a cheque (made payable to Mid Sussex District Council).


Licensing Team
Tel: (01444) 477419