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Draft sex establishment policy

Published Tuesday 12 March, 2024
Last updated on Monday 18 March, 2024

Local residents are being asked for their views on the future of sexual entertainment venues, sex shops and sex cinemas across Swale.

Swale Borough Council is running a consultation on a draft sex establishment policy that sets out how it controls and regulates businesses involved in these activities.

The council approved a sex establishment policy in 2010, after new legislation gave it the ability to control and regulate sexual entertainment venues such as lap dancing or pole dancing clubs.

The policy is now being reviewed, after last being updated in 2021, and will clearly define the licensing authority’s expectations for sex establishments and help them understand their statutory requirements.

There are currently no sex establishments in Swale, but should there be an application, this policy will act as a guide for both the applicant and anyone making a representation against it.

The council’s licensing committee is responsible for agreeing the policy for sex establishments and will use this new draft policy to decide if applications for sex establishments will be granted a licence.

Derek Carnell, Chair of the council’s licensing committee, said:

“This important policy sets out exactly what we expect from sex establishments, what they need to do to be given a licence and the terms they need to meet to keep it.

“Any application will be measured on its own merits, but this policy gives us the tools to make sure these establishments are in appropriate places and are operating responsibly.

“The guidance considers things like the location of these establishments to other sensitive buildings, visibility and the impact their customers could have on the area around the venue.

“We reviewed this policy in 2018 and are now looking to update it, we would appreciate residents' views on how we manage these establishments and what they need to do to get a licence.”

The consultation runs until Friday, 26 April, and you can read the draft policy on the council’s website.

Responses to the consultation can be made by email to or by post to Licensing, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne ME10 3HT.

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