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Sex establishments

A licence is required from the council to use any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall as a Sex Establishment in the Rochford District Council area.

Sex Establishments are licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Under the terms of that legislation:

  • A sex establishment can either be a sex shop or a sex cinema.
  • A sex shop is a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles. This may include businesses selling via the Internet.
  • A sex cinema is any premises used to a significant degree for showing of films, which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.

Application forms, advice and guidance are available from the Licensing Unit, Environmental Services, Rochford District Council, 3 – 19 South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW

It should be noted that the application process requires that an application fee has to be paid together a fee to cover the cost of a potential hearing. If no hearing is required this fee is refunded.

In the event of any objections to the application being received, you will be sent details of these objections and offered the opportunity to make written and oral representations before the Appeals Committee, which consists of Elected Council Members.

Where an application is refused, the licence fee will be returned.

Any person using any premises as a Sex Establishment without a Licence or contravening Sex Establishment conditions shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000.00.

If you need any further information, please contact Licensing here or telephone 01702 318111

Our Aims

Although there are no Sex Establishments within the Rochford District Council area, we would ensure that all applications for Sex Establishments are dealt with in a sensitive and efficient manner, and once licenced, adhere to any conditions attached to their licence.

How we do this:

  • Licensing Sex Establishments.
  • Investigating complaints about Sex Establishments.
  • Providing advice and guidance to Sex Establishment businesses

Sex establishment - complaints

Members of the public are encouraged to report sex establishments operating without a licence.

Contact Licensing using this form 

Write to: 

The Licencing Manager,

Rochford District Council,

Council Offices,

South Street,


Essex, SS4 1BW 

Telephone: 01702 318058 

If you have a complaint about an unlicensed establishment or the running of a licenced sex establishment in another Council area, please contact the Council where the establishment is located