North East Lincolnshire Council

Sex establishment venues

Sex establishment venues (local government (miscellaneous provisions) act 1982)


To run a sex shop – i.e. any premises selling sex toys, books or videos – you may need a licence from the local authority. To run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, you also need a licence from the local authority. However, you may apply to the local authority requesting them to waive the requirement of a licence.



Please note:  you may need planning permission – for further information contact development management services – planning.

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

Regulation summary

Please contact public protection – general licensing for further information.

Evaluation process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

Applications must contain any information the local authority requires, as well as the applicant’s name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age, plus the address of the premises.

Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

Tacit consent

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period which is 28 days after the submission of all relevant information.

Failed application

Please contact the council’s public protection – general licensing team in the first instance.

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

Licence holder redress

Please contact public protection – general licensing for further information.

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

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made by you – preferably in the form of a letter or e-mail to the trader (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked please contact the licensing team.

Alternatively, if you are located in the UK, visit citizens advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European consumer centre.

Any complaints about the application process or any other concerns should be made direct to the licensing team in the first instance.

Licence holders may at any time apply to the authority 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 a Magistrates’ Court.

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 the relevant authority, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.

Public registers or databases

Available on request, please contact the licensing team.

Trade associations

No relevant trade associations.

Licensing Team, Doughty Road Depot, Doughty Road, Grimsby, DN32 0LL


Telephone: 01472 326299 option 2

Opening times: Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm except bank holidays