New rules for sex shops

A TIGHTENING of the rules surrounding the licensing of sex establishments has this week been enforced by a Suffolk council.Suffolk coastal's licensing and health committee met on Tuesday to discuss the regulation of the opening of sex shops in its district.

A TIGHTENING of the rules surrounding the licensing of sex establishments has this week been enforced by a Suffolk council.

Suffolk coastal's licensing and health committee met on Tuesday to discuss the regulation of the opening of sex shops in its district.

They agreed to enforce a number of policies, designed to regulate where and how these kinds of establishment can open.

Applicants will have to pay £12,000 for a licence. If their application is unsuccessful they will only be refunded £4,000.


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If successful, they will need to pay a renewal fee of £4,000 each year.

But, perhaps, most important is the adoption of a policy which states that all applications will be required to show the location of the establishment in relation to facilities used by vulnerable adults – for example, health centres, sheltered accomodation or mental health institutions.

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This is the first time Suffolk Coastal have agreed a specific set of guidelines for the licensing of sex establishments.

The decision came about after two recent enquiries about opening these kinds of shops in the district.

Residents of Wickham Market, who have recently been campaigning to stop the opening of a sex shop in their village, welcomed the move.

In their case, the application was refused planning permission so never reached the licensing stage, but they believe the new policies will help to protect other villages who may find themselves faced with a similar development.

Mother-of-two Cathy Bladen was actively involved in the campaigning throughout. She said: "In adopting these policies the licensing committee have safeguarded lots of other small villages like us for the future.

"They have really protected, not just Wickham Market, but every other small town and village."

Despite the refusal of the planning application in Wickham Market, signs still remain in place on the outside of the industrial unit that was earmarked for the development.

It is believed there are a number of parties interested in purchasing the building from current owner in the hope of quashing the sex shop plans once and for all.

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