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A step by step guide to the licensing process for ‘sexual entertainment venues’ for residents in Westminster

Lap dancing and similar types of premises are regulated by Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as amended.

The Act to classifies premises providing lap dancing and similar as ‘sexual entertainment venues’ which require licensing under the provisions of LG(MP)A where that legislation has been adopted (although the vast majority would still require a licence under Licensing Act 2003 to sell alcohol).

Below is a handy quick reference guide for residents of Westminster to the rights and responsibilities of residents under this licensing regime.

Please note that this guide is necessarily general in nature, and accurate in law as at March 2018. Please also note that some of the information may be specific to practice/procedure in Westminster and may not be applicable in other licensing authority areas.

The Licensing Advice Project (LAP) can provide case-specific advice, information and representation to residents of Westminster.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries at any stage of the process.

1. I have become aware of a licensing application for a sexual entertainment venue.

There are three types of application which residents can object to: new licences, renewals and variations.

2. I would like to object to the application. What should I do?

The Council is required by law to send a summary of your objection to the Applicant or their representative. They cannot reveal your identity without your consent.

Certain parts of the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy for Sexual Entertainment Venues may assist in assuring that your objection is as effective as possible.

3. I have my objection. Where do I send it?

An objection can be made in the following ways:

Additionally, all comments submitted and not withdrawn, will form part of the Licensing Sub-Committee report which is a public document.

We would advise submitting an objection either via Public Access or email .

4. After making an objection you may be contacted by the Council notifying you of amendments to the application.

5. I have received a letter from the Council notifying me that a hearing will be held to determine the application.

6. I have told the Council that I want to attend the hearing, and they have sent me a bundle of papers.

7. Do I need to be represented at the hearing?

8. What format do hearings take?

9. How will I know what has been decided?

The application was granted, and I am not happy with the decision. Can I appeal?

10. I would like to keep up to date with what is happening in my area with licence applications.

The Council produces a weekly bulletin called ‘Licensing News’, which details all applications pending in the consultation period i.e. those applications for which representations can still be accepted. You can ask to be put on the mailing list by emailing

Additionally, Public Access on the Council’s website enables you to receive email alerts on properties or streets you are interested in. You will need to register. There is a useful document on the Council’s website to guide you through the process, or you can email the Council if you are having difficulties. You can also contact us for help if you wish.

Once you have registered, you can also track an application on which you have made a representation, and you will be updated when the status of the application changes.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries about these type of premises..