The Application Process

The applicant

An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • must not be disqualified from holding a sex establishment licence
  • must have been a resident of an EEA State at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in an EEA State
  • 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.

The application process (grant, renewal and transfer of licences)

To make an application, you will need to provide us with the following:

  • A completedSex Establishment Licence application form
  • Five copies of a scaled plan (see the requirements for plans below)
  • Any additional information in support of the application (where applicable)
  • Appropriate fee please see table below. We will contact you to arrange payment once the application is received
Licensable activityFee

Sex Establishment & SEV - new application


Sex Establishment & SEV - renewal


Sex Establishment & SEV - new application with objection


Sex Establishment & SEV - renewal with objection


Sex Establishments & SEV - Transfers and Variations


The legislation requires the application form to be signed. However, the Licensing Team is prepared to accept an application form by email, but you must post in the original application form to us.

Criteria for plans accompanying applications

The plan must show:

  1. the extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and internal walls of the building and, if different, the perimeter of the premises;
  2. the location of points of access to and egress from the premises;
  3. the location of escape routes from the premises;
  4. in a case where the premises is to be used for more than one licensable activity, the area within the premises used for each activity;
  5. fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) that may impact the ability of individuals on the premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment;
  6. in a case where the premises include a stage or raised area, the location and height of each stage or area relative to the floor;
  7. in a case where the premises include any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts, the location of the steps, stairs, elevators or lifts;
  8. in the case where the premises include any room or rooms containing public conveniences, the location of the room or rooms;
  9. the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment including, if applicable, marine safety equipment; and
  10. the location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises.

The plan may include a legend through which the matters mentioned or referred to above are sufficiently illustrated by the use of symbols on the plan.


Applicants for a grant of a licence need to advertise their application in a local newspaper.  This advertisement must be made no later than seven days after the date of the application and must be published on at least one occasion.

Where the application is in respect of premises, notice of it shall also be displayed for no less than 21 consecutive days beginning with the date of the application on or near the premises and in a place where the notice can be conveniently read by the public (from the exterior of the premises).

The notice must identify the relevant premises and must be of a size equal to or larger than A3.  It must be on white paper, printed in black ink or typed in black in a font size equal to or larger than 16.

Every notice which relates to a vehicle, vessel or stall must specify where it is to be used as a sex establishment.

Duty to notify police

In the case of electronic applications:

A copy of an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence will be sent by the Licensing Authority to the relevant authorities within seven days of the application having been received.

In any other case:

The applicant shall, not later than seven days after the date of the application, send a copy of the application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence to the Chief Officer of Police (PDF) [29KB] .


On receipt of your application, consultation will be carried out with the Police, Fire Authority, the Council's Planning and Development Services, and Environmental Health and Housing Services.

In addition consultation may be undertaken with local resident associations, parish councils, local ward members and in some cases neighbouring properties/residents.

This process will usually take around 14 days depending on the complexity of the application.  If queries are raised then you will be contacted in writing and/or by telephone and given opportunity to address them.


Where a person wishes to object to an application for a grant, renewal or transfer of a licence, they shall give notice in writing of their objection to the Licensing and Business Support Manager at Breckland Council. They will state the general terms of the grounds of the objection not later than 28 days after the date of the application.

Where objections are received, before considering the application, Breckland Council will give notice in writing of the general terms of the objection to the applicant.

Breckland Council will not, without the consent of the person making the objection, reveal his/her name or address to the applicant.

In considering any application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence Breckland Council will have regard to any observations submitted by the Chief Officer of Police, and any objections.


All applications for grant, transfer and variation must be heard by the Council's Licensing Committee.  In addition renewal applications that receive objections must be heard by the Licensing Committee.

The refusal of an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a Sex Establishment Licence may be undertaken based on the following criteria:

  • the applicant is unsuitable to hold the licence by reason of having been convicted of an offence or for any other reasons
  • that if the licence were to be granted, renewed or transferred the business to which it relates would be managed or carried on for the benefit of a person, other than the applicant, who would be refused the grant, renewal or transfer of such a licence if he made the application himself.

Additional considerations solely for grants and renewal include:

  • that the number of sex establishments in Breckland is equal to, or exceeds, the number which Breckland Council consider is appropriate.  (For information no decision has yet to be taken by the Council as to the number deemed appropriate).
  • that the grant of the licence would be inappropriate, having regard to:
    • the character of the locality
    • to the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put, or;
    • to the layout, character or condition of the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall in respect of which the application is made.

Refusal of a licence

Where Breckland Council refuses to grant, renew, or transfer a licence, it will provide in writing to the applicant a statement containing the reasons for its decision. The fee is not refundable.

Variation of a licence

The holder of a licence may, at any time, apply for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions on or subject to which the licence is held as may be specified in the application.

The process of applying for a variation is the same as that for applying for an initial grant except that a plan of the premises is not required unless the application involves structural alterations to the premises.

Renewal of a licence

The holder of a licence may apply for renewal of the licence. In order for the licence to continue to have effect during the renewal process, a valid application together with the appropriate fee must be submitted before the current licence expires.

The process of applying for renewal of a licence is the same as that for applying for an initial grant except that a plan of the premises is not required.

Transfer and cancellation of licences

A person may apply for the transfer of a licence at any time.

The process of applying for transfer of a licence is the same as that for applying for an initial grant except that a plan of the premises is not required.

In the event of the death of the granted licence holder, that licence shall be deemed to have been granted to his personal representatives and shall, unless previously revoked, remain in force until the end of the three-month period beginning with the death and then expire. However, the appropriate authority may occasionally, on the application of those representatives, extend or further extend the period of three months. This is providing the authority is satisfied that the extension is necessary for the purpose of winding up the deceased's estate and that no other circumstances make it undesirable.

Breckland Council may, at the written request of the holder of a licence, cancel the licence.

Last updated: 01/04/2023 00:01:06