With effect from 6 April 2010 local authorities in England will be able to adopt additional powers to regulate lap dancing clubs and similar venues.
Section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 amends Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 to introduce a new category of sex establishment called "Sexual Entertainment Venue" which, if adopted by a local authority, will require premises in that area who provide "relevant entertainment", such as lap dancing to obtain a Sex Establishment Licence. There is an exemption for premises that provide relevant entertainment on an infrequent basis.
The legislation is not mandatory for local authorities and therefore they will have the flexibility to decide whether and, if so, when the new provisions should come into force in their area.
The Home Office has provided guidance for local authorities regarding sexual entertainment venues. This guidance will also be of use to operators, the police and the general public and can be viewed below.