Council seeks views on adult entertainment venues

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Swale Borough Council is running a consultation on a draft adult establishment policy that sets out how it regulates relevant businesses

A council in Kent is seeking the views of local residents on the future of sexual entertainment venues including shops and cinemas.

Swale Borough Council is running a consultation on a draft update to its policy that sets out how it controls and regulates relevant businesses.

Chairman of the council’s licensing committee, Derek Carnell, said the policy allowed the authority to make sure the establishments were operating responsibly.

There are currently no sex establishments in Swale.

The council approved a sex establishment policy in 2010 after new legislation gave it the ability to control and regulate sexual entertainment venues, including lap dancing or pole dancing clubs.

The policy, which was updated in 2021, is now being reviewed to clearly define the licensing authority’s expectations for sex establishments and help them understand their statutory requirements.

Should there be an application, the policy will act as a guide for both the applicant and anyone making a representation against it.

Mr Carnell said the “important policy” set out what the council expected, what they need to do to be given a licence, and the terms they need to meet to keep it.

“Any application will be measured on its own merits, but this policy gives us the tools to make sure these establishments are in appropriate places and are operating responsibly,” he said.

“The guidance considers things like the location of these establishments to other sensitive buildings, visibility and the impact their customers could have on the area around the venue.”

The consultation runs until 26 April.

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