From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –
There will be a presumption against approving licences for sexual entertainment venues (SEV) in Aberdeenshire, it has been agreed.
The decision to set a limit of zero for such venues was made by Aberdeenshire Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee as councillors approved a policy to manage any applications that might be lodged.
The sub-committee had agreed last year that measures should be put in place to allow applications to be considered from December 2020, in terms of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
The draft Sexual Entertainment Venues Policy was brought before councillors on Friday (Fri, Oct 2) following consultation with the public and various groups and organisations.
Although a limit of zero has been set, applications for SEV licences will be determined on a case by case basis.
The policy also includes a presumption against venues being permitted near ‘sensitive premises’ such as schools, leisure facilities and places of worship.
The sub-committee agreed a minimum distance of 750metres from such premises, noting that applications would be considered on their individual merits if lodged.
Speaking after the meeting, Licensing Sub-Committee chair Cllr Fergus Hood said: “This has been an extensive piece of work, both in terms of the development of the policy and in gathering the views of the public and a range of interested parties.
“What’s important to stress is that without a policy we would have been unable to regulate such venues at all.
“By setting a limit of zero on the number of licences that could be awarded, we hope we are giving the public the reassurance that any applications that are made follow a clear process and that any decisions that are made are robust.”
Should an application be lodged, it was recommended that any decision would be made by the Licensing Sub-Committee in discussion with the relevant area committee.