Sexual entertainment venue licensing in Harrogate

11 January 2012

Home Office GuidanceThere are about 300 venues in Britain that come under the banner of sexual entertainment.

Many of these clubs opened in 2003 following a change in the licensing law. That change allowed clubs to be opened in much the same way as a café or karaoke bar and with little recourse to public debate.

A subsequent 2009 law has re-branded lap dancing, pole dancing, and strip clubs as ‘sex entertainment venues’, aligning them more to sex shops and adult cinemas, and gave councils new controls.

The past few months have seen many councils taking a far harder line on these venues, forcing many of them to close under the new law.

Harrogate Borough Council resolved on 8 Dec 2010 to adopt with effect from 1st April 2011 that part of schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 as amended by section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 relating to the licensing of sex entertainment venues.

Those new powers took effect in Harrogate from 1st July 2011.

The forms of ‘relevant’ entertainment commonly understood to be connected with Sexual Entertainment Venues are (though this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Lap dancing
  • Pole dancing
  • Table dancing
  • Strip shows
  • Peep shows
  • Live sex shows

Applications made for a Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence will not generally be deemed to be appropriate if the premises is near or in locations or areas containing any of the following:

(i) Historic buildings or tourist attractions

(ii) Schools, play areas, nurseries, children’s centres or similar premises

(iii) Shopping complexes

(iv) Residential areas

(v) Places of Worship

There are exemptions for premises which provide such entertainment less frequently than once a month.

Home Office Guidance for Sexual Entertainment Venues

Harrogate Borough Council has received two applications from existing venues:

Wild Cats, 1 Oxford Street, Harrogate

Kings Club, 14-16 Kings Road, Harrogate

The general public is being invited to make comment on these applications

Please note the closing date for this is 26 January 2012.

Any comments should be sent to the contact details below.

Licensing Team,
Harrogate Borough Council
Springfield House
Kings Road

Telephone: 01423 556843



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