New rules for strip clubs and sex shops in Waverley

By Julie Armstrong   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Monday 8th November 2021 7:07 pm
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A COUNCIL has reviewed its set of rules for strip clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas although there are none in the borough.

Waverley Borough Council’s licensing committee today (November 8) discussed the revised policy for sexual entertainment venues, but the council has received no such applications since the policy was first adopted in 2012.

For any striptease-type show, the main rule for the audience is you can look but don’t touch – and keep your own clothes on.

There must be no audience participation and no physical contact between between customers and dancers. Performers should have direct access to the dressing room without passing through the audience.

Customers can place money into the hands of dancers at the beginning or end of a performance.

Total nudity is permitted on stage – and nowhere but the stage – but no sex acts with objects or other performers are allowed.

Dancers are not allowed to perform drunk and no audience members are allowed to remain in the dance area if they appear to be drunk.

It must be covered by CCTV which should be made available to an authorised council officer or police officer but not copied, given away or sold.

For sex shops and sex cinemas, the rules say nothing is to be displayed in the windows other than “items of lingerie and dresses”.

While members of the public can object to an application for a sex establishment licence, 1985 case law involving Coventry City Council has established a council cannot refuse a licence solely on the grounds it may cause offence.

An authority will not normally grant an application within 200 metres of a school or place of worship however, or within 200 metres of an existing sex establishment.

Premises do not need a licence on the conditions there is at least a month between each entertainment of a sexual nature and the entertainment never lasts longer than 24 hours.

Waverley carried out a 12-week public consultation between July and October and only one response was received.

Cranleigh Parish Council said they were “quite surprised” that a licence for a sexual entertainment venue is not required where relevant entertainment has not been provided on more than 11 occasions in any 12 months.

A spokesperson said: “In our opinion, any venue which offers sexual entertainment, no matter how often, should require a licence.”

The licensing committee recommended full council approve the policy at their December meeting. If approved it will come into effect at the end of January.

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