Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues - July 2023

Closed 3 Oct 2023

Opened 10 Jul 2023

Results updated 19 Dec 2023

It had been intended to present the Regulatory Committee with a report on the outcome of this consultation on 4 December 2023. However, due to the large number of consultation responses additional time is required to ensure that legal advice is fully considered and therefore presentation of the report has been delayed to the next meeting.

The Regulatory Committee therefore agreed that the relevant date in the Sexual Entertainment Venue licence resolution would be amended to 31 March 2024, therefore removing any uncertainty for the venues and performers whilst this further work takes place.


In March 2022, the Regulatory Committee formally agreed to introduce a licensing scheme for Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) in Edinburgh. This followed the introduction of new legislation which allowed local authorities to license such venues, and a public consultation exercise on the issue.

Adoption of the powers to license Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) does not imply approval of these premises by the Council.

Following the consultation process the Council resolved to license SEVs, agreed that the appropriate number of SEVs within Edinburgh was zero, and agreed a SEV policy statement and conditions framework.

Following a legal challenge, the Council’s determination of the appropriate number to be zero was struck down by the Court of Session.

The Council is therefore now reconsidering the determination of an appropriate number of SEVs. At the same time the Council is reviewing the agreed SEV policy statement in light of the Court of Session’s decision.

As stated above, the Council is required to determine an appropriate number of SEVs permitted to operate in Edinburgh and each relevant locality. This consultation asks for views on what that number should be.

The consultation also asks for views on the existing licensing policy and set of licensing conditions for Sexual Entertainment Venues.

It is important to note that, following the Court of Session's decision that if the Council chooses to determine an appropriate number of SEVs within Edinburgh or any of the relevant localities therein to be zero, then no SEV premises will be permitted to operate in Edinburgh. In such circumstances, any application received for a SEV licence would require to be refused.

The definition of a SEV is provided by legislation and is aimed at premises providing sexual entertainment - often referred to as ‘lap dancing’. Premises used as massage parlours or saunas are not included in this legislation, or in the definition of sexual entertainment, and will not be affected by these proposals.

Why your views matter

We would like to know your views on what the appropriate number of SEVs permitted to operate in the city should be. Furthermore, we would to know what you think about the existing licensing policy and conditions framework in respect of Sexual Entertainment Venues in Edinburgh.

What happens next

Responses will be reviewed and a report will be presented to a future meeting of the Regulatory Committee for consideration.


  • All Edinburgh


  • Anyone from any background


  • Looked after and accommodated children
  • Adults and Older People
  • Carers
  • Children and Families
  • Disabilities
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Paying for Care
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • People with mental health issues
  • People with addictions
  • Offenders
  • All interests
  • Cycling and walking
  • Park and ride
  • Parking permits
  • Parking spaces
  • Parking tickets
  • Public Transport
  • Roads and pavements
  • Trams
  • Road safety
  • Traffic regulation
  • Travel in Edinburgh
  • Housing benefit
  • Welfare reform
  • Commercial bins and recycling
  • Non-commercial bins and recycling
  • Business rates
  • Economic development
  • Food safety
  • Health and safety
  • Licences and permits
  • Scientific services
  • Support for businesses
  • Trading standards
  • Births, marriages and deaths
  • Budgets and spending
  • Community planning
  • Councillors and committees
  • Access to information
  • Elections and voting
  • Funding opportunities
  • Performance and statistics
  • Policies, plans and strategies
  • Community safety
  • Crime & Antisocial behaviour
  • Emergency planning
  • Flooding
  • Protect someone from harm
  • Severe weather
  • Noise
  • Pest control
  • Pollution
  • Biodiversity
  • Landscape designations
  • Nature
  • Council and housing association homes
  • Homeless or at risk
  • Housing support
  • Private housing
  • Council homes
  • Jobs and training
  • Jobs and training for young people
  • Volunteer
  • Arts and culture
  • Archives and local history
  • Museums and galleries
  • Parks and green spaces
  • Sport, activities and dance
  • Libraries
  • Building warrants
  • Conservation
  • Enforcement
  • Land and property
  • Local plans and guidelines
  • Planning applications
  • Permissions for development
  • Area regeneration
  • Public space
  • Adult and community learning & development
  • Nurseries and childcare
  • Parental engagement
  • Schools
  • Youth clubs and participation