Sex establishments

We are asking customers to only submit essential applications. Please be aware that it may take some time to review and process your application. You should expect most applications to take longer than normal to process.

The law defines the way in which an application is made, which include the advertising notice of the application in the local press and displaying a notice outside the premises for a specified period giving passers by the opportunity to comment by a statutory closing date.

When considering an application for a Sex Establishment licence the Council may only use the following criteria.

  • the suitability of the applicant
  • the person applying is a “front” person for someone else
  • the location and suitability of the premises
  • the number of sex establishments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number, which the Council considers appropriate for the area.

As of the 8 January 2018 any application you make in person at one of Contact Centres must be done by appointment. To make an appointment please call Cheshire East Customer Services on 0300 123 5015. Cheques must be made payable to ‘Cheshire East Council’


The following must be submitted with the completed application form in order to form a valid application:

  • a scale plan of the premises which should be large enough to be easily read (which must show the layout of the Premises including: (i) performer’s changing facilities; (ii) those areas to which the public are to be admitted (shown outlined in red); (iii) toilets; (iv) entrances and exits from the premises (including emergency exits); (v) any stage area (including an annotation as to the height of the stage); (vi) the location of any fixed structures (such as the bar area, fixed tables/seating or private booths); the area to be used for customer seating)
  • the licence fee
  • a copy of the completed notice to be displayed on the Premises
  • a basic DBSC from the applicant (including each of the directors/the company secretary where the applicant is a company and each of the partners if the applicant is a partnership)
  • a copy of the management operation manual and club rules (see condition 16 of the conditions)

A copy of the application must also be served on the Chief Officer of Police and advertising in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 3 of the 1982 Act.

Further information in relation to these requirements is provided within the Council’s policy on the licensing of sexual entertainment venues a copy of which is available via the link below:


The fees in relation to applications for sexual entertainment venues are as follows:

  • first application: £2,280
  • renewal application: £1,140
  • variation application: £2,280
  • transfer application: £500

Your right of appeal

  • any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates' Court
  • an appeal against a decision made at the Magistrates Court may be appealed at the Crown Court but the decision of the Crown Court is final

Offences and penalties

  • anybody who operates a sex establishment without a licence or fails to comply with licence condition or admits persons under the age of 18 is committing an offence
  • penalties upon conviction can range from £1,000 to £20,000

To make an application please contact the licensing department nearest to the proposed premises.

Further information

Additional information is contained within the Home Office Guidance on Sexual Entertainment Venues (PDF, 137KB).

Page last reviewed: 07 April 2022