Sex establishments licence

March 2020 Covid19 update – Licensing

To reduce face to face contact in light of the Government’s latest update on Covid19, the Licensing function at the Council is taking the following steps:

Please only submit licensing applications electronically for the foreseeable future.  Payments can still be made by calling 01757 705101.

Applications can be scanned or photographed (you need to ensure that they are readable). If you need advice or have a query about an application or email licensing by clicking here

Please do not visit the Civic Centre unannounced, as we cannot guarantee that there will be anybody available to see you. Instead please contact the Licensing section in the first instance by email or telephone.

If you have haven’t already updated the Licensing Team with an email address consider doing so now.

The Licensing Team will do all that they can to help you and your business through the next few months and recommend that you email us if you have any concerns at all. However, the onus is on you to ensure that any licence you have remains active and valid, following this advice.

Licence Summary

Local authorities control the licensing of sex establishments within their District. This covers sex shops and sex cinemas. To run a sex shop in the district - i.e. any premises selling sex toys, books or videos - you will need a licence from the Selby District Council. To run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, you also need a licence from the local authority.

Eligibility Criteria

If you would like to apply for a Sex Establishment licence, you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Have lived in the UK for the last 6 months, and
  • Have undergone a police check.
  • 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.

The Licensing Committee examines each application and looks in particular at the following:

  • Suitability of the applicant.
  • Number of sex establishments in the area.
  • Character of the locality.
  • The use of premises in the local area, and
  • The layout/character or condition of the premises.

Application Evaluation Process

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

Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and 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.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Selby District Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 14 days, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the GOV.UK website.

Applying for a Sex Establishment Licence


Online Application

Downloadable Application Forms

Failed Application Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Public Register

Please see our Public Registers page with regards to viewing registers.

Consumer Complaints

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made to us - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If this is insufficient, if you are located in the UK the GOV.UK website will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre. 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 Selby District Council, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.

Costs - 2020/21

Licences for a sex establishment cost £6,536.50 on initial application and renewal. Transfer of a licence costs £332.50.