Sex establishment licence

On 1 April the single new council for North Yorkshire launched replacing Scarborough Borough Council and other local authorites in North Yorkshire.

To find your Councillor or to view minutes, meetings and agendas please visit the North Yorkshire Council website.

Anyone who wishes to use any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall as a sex establishment in the council's area must first obtain a licence.

A sex establishment can either be a sex shop or a sex cinema. A sex shop is any premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles. A sex cinema is any premises used to a significant degree for showing films which are concerned primarily with or related to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.

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

More about this licence


For more information or to apply please contact us.

Right of appeal

If an application is refused following a hearing of the application then the applicant will be informed of the decision, the reasons for it and the right of appeal.

Appeals must be made to the local magistrates’ court within 21 days, starting from the date the applicant is notified of the Council's decision.

Applicants can appeal against the refusal of a new grant, variation and transfer applications, or against the decision to revoke a licence. They can also appeal against conditions or restrictions imposed.

Please note that you cannot appeal against the Council's decision if the application was refused on the grounds that:

  • the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate; or
  • 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

The magistrates’ court will determine the appeal application. If you do not agree with the decision made by the magistrates’ court, you can appeal to the local crown court. The decision made by the crown court will be final.