Sex establishments

Premises that are used for a business, which consists of the sale, hiring or exchange of sex articles to a significant degree, require a licence.

Applicants are required to place a notice advising or their intention to apply for a licence before they actually make application.

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

Application evaluation process

Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper. In addition, where the application is in respect of a premise, a notice must be displayed outside the premises.


A fee of £1,250.00 is payable for applications.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us using the contact details below.

How to apply

We aim to acknowledge your application within three working days. If you have applied online we will acknowledge your application via email.

Online application

You can apply for this licence using the online application tools available below:

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance using the contact details below.

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
  • A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local Magistrates' Court. 

Licence holders may at any time apply to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council 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 the 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 Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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 Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.


Licensing registers are available to view, by prior arrangement, at the Council Offices.

Please visit the Licensing Public Register page for more information.