Licence applications, renewals, variations and transfers

We have determined there is a sufficient number of sex establishments operating in Islington. However, we will consider each application on its merit.

We send current licence holders invoices for renewal fees and the required renewal application forms. If you are looking to transfer or make a variation to a licence, please contact the sex establishment licensing team.

If you are looking to apply for a new licence, please follow the instructions below. 

After you apply

Applicants must:

  • display an A4 notice at the proposed premises for 21 days following the date that the completed application is submitted setting out the application details.  The notice must be in a prominent position so that it can be easily read by passers by. A notice template is provided with the application form.
  • publish an advertisement in the local newspaper within seven days of submitting the application. An advertisement template is provided with the application form.

Contact details for local newspapers are:

Islington Tribune, 40 Camden Road, London NW1 9DR
Tel: 020 7419 9000 ext 250 or 247
Fax: 020 7209 1322

Islington Gazette, 161 Tottenham Lane, London N8 9BU
Tel: 020 8342 5700
Fax: 020 8342 5710

Applicants who wish to advertise the application in another local newspaper are advised to contact the sex licensing team beforehand to confirm that it is acceptable.

We will consult with the police, fire brigade, building control, Ward Councillors before making a decision. For new and variation applications we will also consult the planning service and local residents.

Authorised officers from the council, fire brigade and police may choose to inspect the premises and require works to be carried out to bring the premises up to the required standard before the premises can be used for licensable activities.  

We will not determine an application for a licence unless the applicant allows an authorised officer reasonable opportunity to enter the premises to make such examination and enquiries as may be necessary to determine the suitability of the applicant and the sex establishment.

If objections are received, we will send them to the applicant for consideration. We will facilitate any correspondence between concerned parties and the applicant to see if agreement can be reached.

Unless all objections are withdrawn, the application will be considered by our licensing subcommittee at a public meeting. All parties will be invited to attend the meeting and will be sent written confirmation of the decision. 

The Act requires the council to refuse all application if the applicant:

  • is under the age of 18 or
  • has had their licence revoked in the last 12 months or
  • is not resident in the UK, or has not been a UK resident for the last six months or
  • has been refused an application in the last 12 months
  • is a corporate body which in not incorporated in the UK.

We expect the premises to have planning consent for the intended use and hours of operation, or otherwise have lawful planning status before making an application  for a new licence.

Applications can take up to 14 weeks to be determined.  If an application is likely to take longer than 14 weeks to determine the council will notify the applicant in writing before this deadline. Applications for sex establishment licenses are exempt from the tacit consent provisions of the EU Services Directive on the grounds of public interest and the legitimate interests of third parties.

The applicant will be notified in writing about the outcome of their application within five working days of the decision being made.

Sex Establishment licences are usually issued for 12 months, but can be issued for a shorter period if deemed appropriate.

In order to continue operating as a sex establishment the licence holder must make a renewal application prior to the expiry of the existing licence.

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