Sex shop licensing

The Council has adopted schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, which covers the licensing of sex shops.

Sex shops means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business that consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles. There is one licensed sex shop in the Borough of Woking at the present time.

The main purpose of applications is to enable the sale of videos or DVDs classified as R18 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to be sold. Such videos may be supplied to adults only in licensed sex shops, of which there are currently about 90 in the UK.

Certain factors need to be considered when an application for a sex shop licence is made. These factors will include whether or not the premises are in an inappropriate location, for example near a school, a place of worship or family shopping area.

All applications (apply online) must be advertised in the local press. In addition, where the application is in respect of a premise, a notice must be displayed outside the premises. Applications must also include a fee.

A public register detailing all licenses issued by Woking Borough Council is readily available to the public and may be viewed Monday to Friday during normal office hours at the Civic Offices (9am to 4:45pm excluding public holidays). There is no charge for accessing the public register, however, there is a charge for the provision of certified copies of an entry on the register.

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