Herefordshire is about to adopt a policy on licensing “sex establishments” – despite not having any.

Local authorities have to have a policy and standard conditions covering sexual entertainment venues, sex shops and sex cinemas.

Now a 52-page “Licensing of Sex Establishments: Statement of Licensing Policy” is due to be approved by the county’s planning committee next month.

The will help the council “balance the conflicting needs of commercial interests, patrons, employees, residents and communities”, and “ensure transparency and consistency”, it says.


The council “does not take any moral stand in adopting this policy”, it adds.

“Parliament has made it lawful to operate a sex establishment and such businesses are a legitimate part of the retail and leisure industries.”

The policy covers advertising, staff welfare, the premises’ external appearance and location.

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A public consultation on it has just closed, while local police and fire services, the Health and Safety Executive, local health trusts, representatives of businesses and licensed trades, local councillors and the council’s own officials have also been consulted.

The council already has a system of licensing such premises, which according to its website costs between £1,858 and £3,802 to grant, renew or transfer and can take up to 60 days.

But a freedom of information request to Herefordshire Council revealed that there are currently no such premises licensed in the county.