Swansea adopts nil limit for sexual entertainment

As widely reported, Swansea has adopted what is effectively a nil limit. From the approved policy:

3.5 The Council has determined that the “relevant localities” for the purposes of determining applications are “the City Centre area” and “outside the City Centre”, as defined on the map in Appendix A. At the boundary of the city area, all premises that front onto the street at the boundary will be included in the “city centre area.”
3.6 The Council has considered the character of its relevant localities and has determined the following as appropriate numbers of sex establishments:
i) The appropriate number of sex establishments outside the City Centre area will be nil unless varied by the Council.
ii) The appropriate number of sexual entertainment venues in the City Centre area will be nil unless varied by the Council

The change to policy followed public consultation: there were 10 responses, including mine, which resulted in summaries of the ESRC research being provided in cabinet papers.

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See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-23463209


Leeds to cut striptease club numbers

As previously reported, Leeds have consulted on numbers of SEVs, and though the results could be interpreted in a number of contradictory ways, have decided on lowering the number of clubs which can be licensed in the city centre (noting clubs are not permissible elsewhere anyway). The new policy suggest 4 clubs are permissible, suggesting that the existing 7 clubs could be reduced to 4 in due course in line with this policy, with certain localities now identified as inappropriate. This has been widely reported. See:




You can watch a brief video on the protests against the changes here:


Poole to adopt SEV powers

There are some LAs where there are clubs but the SEV legislation has still not been adopted…Swindon, Charnwood, Norwich spring to mind. Poole is another, but is now formally adopting. The official adoption notice:



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on 18th June 2013 and in accordance with Part II Section 2 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, the Borough of Poole resolved to adopt Schedule 3 of that Act, as amended by Section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009. that on 18th June 2013 and in accordance with Part II Section 2 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, the Borough of Poole resolved to adopt Schedule 3 of that Act, as amended by Section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

The adoption of Schedule 3 will become operative on I st September 2013.

The general effect of adopting the above legislation is to provide the Borough of Poole with additional powers to regulate sexual entertainment venues, as well as affording better control over the establishment of such premises in the Borough.

Shaun Robson, Head of Environmental and Consumer Protection Services

Thompson v Oxford City Council (revisited)

Some interesting thoughts on the Lodge’s failed judicial review have been published here:


This notes the following:

“Despite the fact that Mr Thompson had been granted a licence, and that the premises were in exactly the same place as the year before, with no one having complained about his operation of the premises, he had been deprived of the licence to operate. He argued he had spent tens of thousands of pounds on a business and provided considerable local employment into the bargain, on the back of his licence which was granted to him but which had now been taken away from him through no obvious fault of his own.”

And goes onto to suggest the unreasonable nature of the decision taken, given it fails to recognise the property rights bequeathed by licence approval:

“The argument that a premises licence is an item of property that attracts property rights under international and domestic human rights law does not seem to have been argued fully before the High Court. However in his evidence before the Sub Committee Mr Thompson pointed out that he had invested tens of thousands of pounds in good faith on the strength of his being granted a licence (as our own client had done) only to see the rules change and him having to surrender that licence despite the fact that the premises had been operating perfectly happily and no one ever having complained about the running of the venue.

We cannot imagine that the public at large would consider it could be right to permit a business to operate under licence so that they invest in their business only to change the rules and require them to have to get another licence every year. Guidance issued by the Secretary of State accepts that it is improper for Council’s to grant licences, then adopt a Cumulative Impact Policy and then seek to curtail the hours of operation etc of premises under those licences by means of a premises licence review. The analogy with the present case is clear.

It must be right that a person who is granted a licence to carry on an activity at premises must be allowed to continue with that activity until such time as there is sufficient complaint about the use of those premises for that activity. That did not happen in Salisbury and it did not happen in Oxford, yet Mr Thompson is now deprived of his licence.”

As the author of this piece, a licensing solicitor for Blake Lapthorn, notes, this one could still run and run given there is a possible appeal of the rejection for judicial review. Watch this space.

Old Northwood owners decide not to seek licence renewal

The Olde Northwood web

“PUB owners have decided not to renew their licence for exotic dancing in a bid to get the community on their side.

Owners Steve and Christine Pantling thought it was time to call time on the strippers when it came to renewing their licence at The Olde Northwood Pub, in Pinner Road, for the 14th year.

The decision comes a year after a legislation change forced the Northwood pub and others like it to apply for a Sex Establishment Licence, instead of the previous Entertainment Licence with consent for striptease.

They had operated as a lapdancing pub for 12 years before the change in the law but the new licence gave people in the community the chance to object for the first time.

And object they did, despite no incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour linked to the pub since exotic dancing was introduced in 2000.

Mrs Pantling said: “We always used to send off to renew our licence and got it, no problem.

“When this new licence came up we had this grief that came with it. We had never had any complaints, so I was surprised by the objections.

“Because all of a sudden it had ‘sex’ in the title, people started questioning it, and I think a lot of people got the wrong idea.

“The thoughts you have about it are very different to the reality.”

The Pantlings chose not to renew their licence this year, anticipating the same level of objection.

Mr Pantling said: “I decided to turn it into a normal pub. If there’s enough local people against it then it isn’t worth it.”

The pub stopped operating as a strip joint on June 21 and since then the couple have lengthened the opening hours and now offer a bigger food menu, in a bid to attract a different clientele.

“It has been slow,” Mrs Pantling said. “We have got a few customers that are friends now and they are going to come along and support us, but a lot of our customers won’t be back.

“I would hope that the people who objected will now come in and see us as a normal pub.”



Canterbury club ‘Bing’ obtains Sexual Entertainment licence

As reported previously, this application was due to be heard last month until doubts emerged that the local authority had adopted the SEV legislation. The hearing today resulted in the granting of the licence.

Representing the applicants, Leo Charalambides described the club’s proposed offerings as akin to “a Benny Hill on stage”.

Mr Charalambides told the committee: “In Canterbury there is no other type of entertainment of this nature.

“Canterbury is crying out for something which caters for an older clientele.

“Indeed, it may have been somewhere Chaucer Pilgrims might have gone for some respite from their devotions or where Christopher Marlowe might have found himself.

“This is a bit of fun. These are enlightened times. How people feel about what goes on inside is a matter of their own feelings and not for the licensing committee.

“There are real reasons to evaluate this application rather than naked nimbyism.

“I would invite you also to be aware of naked paternalism. Does the cinema round the corner only show Disney films or does it show films containing sex scenes, valance and horror?”

Quotes from: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/Canterbury-sex-club-given-go-ahead-3217

SEV Refusal no. 32: Rochester High Street/Corporation Street

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Medway council were supposed to contact me about this one but they don’t seem much interested in talking to their local university on SEV matters or inviting me to hearings. Humph. Anyway, Aaron Stone’s application for a second SEV (Tenshi 2)in Rochester has been rejected, even though the Queen Charlotte has now ceased SEV activities in its cellar and this would have therefore not exceeded the limit of 2 licences for Medway. From the minutes:

“The Panel considered that the premises was not suitable to be licensed for Sexual Entertainments given the size and predominant use of 141 High Street as an Sexual Entertainment Venue as well as its proximity to community facilities such as the adjacent Adult Education Centre, which is also used as a library, its proximity to the bus stop on Corporation Street and its proximity to Tenshi1 which is also operating under a Sexual Entertainments Venue licence, as strongly evidenced by the objectors, including the Ward Councillor.

The Panel was also swayed that the egress to Tenshi 2 would be directly opposite to residential premises that are primarily occupied by the elderly.

The Panel considered evidence presented concerning the Queen Charlotte’s previous SEV Licence. However, the Panel differentiated between the Queen Charlotte and Tenshi 2 on the basis of the different combination of size and predominant use.

This record is available on our website – http://www.medway.gov.ukLicensing 1982 Act Hearing Panel – Sub-Committee of Licensing and Safety Committee, 19 June 2013

Furthermore, the egress to Tenshi 2 would be approximately 50 yards along the same stretch of road to Tenshi 1, whereas the Queen Charlotte was located further away and on a different road to Tenshi 1.

Given the above, the Panel felt that it could not issue the SEV licence even with the conditions proffered by the applicant and therefore the application was refused.”