Views sought on sex establishments policy in Bristol

Views sought on sex establishments policy in Bristol

Consultation open until 19 December 2021.

27 September 2021

People in Bristol are being asked for their views on the licensing of sex establishments in the city.

A formal consultation has launched today (27 September) to seek views on a revised draft policy. It includes sex shops, sex cinemas and sexual entertainment venues.

The new draft policy proposes not allowing any Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) within three defined areas of the city. These areas - the City Centre, Old Market and Bishopston/Ashley/Redland/Cotham – were identified and set out when the original policy was adopted.

SEVs are defined as places where there is a performance primarily intended to sexually stimulate a live audience – this includes venues such as lap dancing clubs.

The responsibility for agreeing policy and the numbers of sex establishments in the city falls within the remit of the council’s Licensing Committee.
The council adopted legislation in 2012 which gave it the ability to control and regulate these types of venues. 

A draft policy proposing maintaining the current number of sex establishments was consulted on in late 2019. After considering the responses, which contained a wide range of views, the council is now consulting on a revised proposal, which will not allow any SEVs in the designated areas. 

The Licensing Committee, which has a cross-party membership, will make a decision on the final policy.

Councillor Marley Bennett, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said:

“We are reviewing our current policy and want to hear from members of the public about sexual entertainment venues and what they feel is appropriate for the city.

“At this stage no decisions have been made. The committee will use the information provided through this consultation to help inform a policy, so if you would like to make your views heard, then please do take part.”

The consultation runs from 27 September for 12 weeks. To read the draft policy, with a summary of proposed changes, and to take part visit our Sex Establishment Policy Review consultation page.

Paper copies can be obtained by contacting the Licensing Team by email at  or by phone on 0117 357 4900.

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