No sex establishment or sexual entertainment venue can operate unless it’s obtained a licence from us – any such licence will contain conditions that will restrict how that premises may trade.

There’s also a new law which now brings lap dancing, pole dancing and other similar entertainment under the same group as licensed sex shops and sex cinemas.


Who can apply?

An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • mustn’t be disqualified from holding a licence
  • mustn’t 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.
How to apply

Applications must be on the prescribed form and accompanied by:

  • fee
  • plan of premises 
  • you’ll be required to give public notice (advert) of your application by publishing a notice in the Warrington or Midweek Guardian. The notice should appear no later than 7 days after the date we’ve received your application
  • you’ll be required to display your notice on the premises for a period of 21 days beginning with the date we received the application
  • all applications including renewal, transfer and variation applications where objections have been received, will be considered by the Licensing Sub-Committee
  • you’ll be required to renew your application each year on (we’ll notify you with details of your renewal)

Your application should be printed, posted (if downloaded) and sent back to us: 
Warrington Borough Council
East Annexe
Sankey Street

Fees and charges
Sex establishmentsFee (exc VAT)
Sex establishment licence (Local) miscellaneous provisions act 1982 
Application fee£1,553
Final approval fee (upon successful application)£383
Sex establishment licence renewal 
Application fee£365
Final approval fee (upon successful application)£82

Cheques should be made payable to Warrington Borough Council and accompany application forms.

Applications sent without the correct payment will be rejected and returned to the applicant.

After we receive your application

All applications have 28 days for objections with unlimited time for determination.


If you're planning to appeal, please contact us in the first instance. Appeals to the local magistrates' court can then be made within 21 days of our decision.

Please note, 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 we consider 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.

If a member of the public has a complaint about your licence, we always advise for that person to contact you directly, preferably in the form a letter with proof of delivery. If that has not worked, we advise the person to contact the Citizens Advice Guide, or the UK European Consumer Centre if they’re outside the UK.

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to the council, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application. Please email licensing complaints.

25 April 2024