Sex shop and cinema licence

To run a sex shop which is any premises selling sex toys, books or videos - you may need a licence from the local authority. To run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, you also need a licence from the local authority.

However, you may apply to the local authority requesting them to waive the requirement of a licence.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • must not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • must have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
  • 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

Regulation summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

Conditions of licence

Sex Shops and Cinema - Conditions of Licence (PDF 44kb)

Sex Shops and Cinema - Policy Guidelines (PDF 1.4mb)

Sex Shops and Cinema - Policy Guidelines Appendix 1 and 2 (PDF 1.3mb)


Click here for a full list of licence fees

All fees are payable on submission of the application and are usually non-refundable.

Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Caerphilly County Borough Council. Please do not send cash in the post.

Application evaluation process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

Applications must contain any information the local authority requires, as well as the applicant's name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age, plus the address of the premises.

Applicants must also supply the following: -

  • a site plan (Scale 1:1250)
  • a plan of the premises (Scale 1:50) indicating all means of ingress and egress
  • drawings showing the front elevation of existing and proposed (Scale 1:50)

Applicants must give public notice of their application by placing a notice on the premises and by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper (see example below). A copy of the newspaper must be provided not more than 14 days from the date of application. A copy of the application must be sent to the Chief Officer of Police, Heddlu Gwent Police, 'C' Divisional Headquarters, Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2XA not later than 7 days after the date of application.

Sample Public Notice Advertisement (PDF 15kb)

What happens if your application is not processed within the timescales stated?

It is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 2 months please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the Flexible Support for Business service or use the contact details below.

Apply online

You can now apply for your personal licence online via the GOV.UK website where payment (if required) can be taken electronically.

Apply for a licence for a sex establishment

EUGO Logo - Links to information about the EU Services Directive

Failed application redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:

  • the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the council considers is appropriate
  • the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves

Licence holder redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Licence holders may at any time apply to the council for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in their licence.

If an application for a variation is refused, or if the licence is revoked, the licence holder may, within 21 days of being notified of the imposition of, or the refusal to vary, the term, condition or restriction in question, or of the revocation, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a magistrates' court.

Public register

Click here for information about viewing public registers.

Trade Associations


Contact details

Licensing Section
Pontllanfraith House
NP12 2YW
Tel: 01495 235039

Who to contact

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