Guidance on making a representation on an application for a sexual entertainment venue licence

These guidance notes must be read in conjunction with the council's Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy Statement.

Grounds for refusal of an application

There are a number of mandatory and/or discretionary grounds of refusal of an SEV licence.


A licence cannot be granted:

  • to any person under the age of 18 years;
  • to any person who is for the time being disqualified due to having had a previous licence revoked in the area of the appropriate authority within the last 12 months;
  • to any person, other than a body corporate, who is not resident in an EEA state or was not so resident throughout the period of six months immediately preceding the date when the application was made;
  • to a body corporate which is not incorporated in an EEA state; or
  • to any person who has, within a period of 12 months immediately preceding the date when the application was made, been refused that grant or renewal of a licence for the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall in respect of which the application is made, unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal.


The council may also refuse an application where:

a) the applicant is unsuitable to hold the licence by reason of having been convicted of an offence or for any other reason

b) if the licence were to be granted, renewed or transferred, the business to which it relates would be managed by 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

c) the number of sexual entertainment venues, in the relevant locality at the time which the authority consider is appropriate for the locality

d) the grant or renewal of the licence would be inappropriate, having regard:

i)   to the character of the relevant locality; or

ii)  to the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put; or

iii) to the lay out, character or condition of the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall in respect of which the application is made.

Nil may be an appropriate number for the purposes of c) above.

By law, any decision the council makes on applications for an SEV licence, must relate to one or more of the above grounds for refusal.


There is a 28 day consultation period for SEV licence applications.  In order to give people an opportunity to make representation, a blue public notice will be displayed outside the relevant premises for a minimum period of 21 consecutive days.  In addition, a public notice will also be published in a local newspaper, normally the Gloucestershire Echo, within 7 days.

Objectors must give notice of their objection in writing, stating the general terms of the objections (see below).

Any person can object to or support an application for an SEV licence but the objection must be relevant to the grounds for refusal set out above.

The council does not take any moral stand in adopting this policy. We recognise that parliament has made it lawful to operate sexual entertainment venues, and that such businesses are a legitimate part of the retail and leisure industries. It is our role as the licensing authority to administer the licensing regime in accordance with the law.

For this reason, objections should not be made on moral grounds or values and we will not consider such objections as relevant.

Where we receive notices of any objections we will, before considering the application, give notice in writing of the general terms of the objection to the applicant. We will not, without the consent of the person making the objection, reveal their name or address to the applicant.

However, you must be aware that your objection will form part of a report submitted to the council's Licensing Committee and that report will be made available in the public domain which means your name may be listed as an objector.