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Sex Establishments: Regulation

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers are available to local authorities wishing to regulate the establishment of lap dancing clubs. (228889)

[holding answer 21 October 2008]: Lap dancing clubs that supply alcohol or provide entertainment in the form of music or dance must obtain an appropriate permission under the Licensing Act 2003 (the 2003 Act). If, following representations and a hearing, the licensing authority believes an application for a licence under the 2003 Act is contrary to the promotion of the four licensing objectives (prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm) it may refuse the application or grant the licence subject to conditions.

Lap dancing clubs are also subject to the law relating to public decency (Indecent Displays Act 1981) and brothel keeping (Sexual Offences Act 1956).

The planning system also provides local authorities with powers to help manage the number of lap dancing clubs in an area, having regard to local circumstances and any other material considerations. Following consultation with local authorities, the Home Secretary recently announced the Government’s intention to give local communities a stronger say over the establishment of lap dancing clubs in their area. A number of measures are currently being considered in order to achieve this.