Special Treatment Licensing

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If you run an establishment for 'special treatments' in the borough you may require a licence for your premises. Special treatments include, but are not limited to,

  • massage
  • manicure
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • light treatments, for example sunbeds, lasers and IPL
  • electric treatments, for example electrolysis
  • other special treatments of a like kind, for example semi-permanent skin colouring, vapour, sauna or other bath treatments (please note this is not an exhaustive list, for further advice on whether a particular treatment requires a licence please contact the licensing team)

Regulation summary

See the regulations for special treatment licences for further information

Application process

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided by the Council and include any information and documentation which the Council requires. Applicants may be required to advertise their application by means of a notice displayed at the premises for 28 days and, other than applications submitted via the on-line facility, will need to give notice of their application to the chief police officer and fire authority. The Council's Rules Governing Applications gives further details of the application process and documents which need to be submitted. The application must also be accompanied by the correct application fee. If the application is one which needs to be advertised applicants  can download the site notice, which must be printed on pale pink paper size A3, alternatively copies of the site notice template can be obtained free of charge from the licensing team.

The local authority will consult the London Fire Authority and Metropolitan Police on all applications, and in some cases may also consult the Council’s Planning and Environmental Health Departments. The authority will take into account any representations made by these authorities, or any other person when determining an application

If no objections are received the licensing authority will normally grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. If the application is opposed the application will normally be referred to the Council’s Regulation and Enforcement Sub-Committee for consideration and decision.  Information relating to the committee hearing will be sent to the applicant and any other interested parties prior to the hearing. 

All Special Treatments Licences are subject to Standard Conditions, which are supplemented by Guidance to assist licensees. In addition, the Council can add other special conditions in appropriate cases.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the licensing authority within a reasonable period, please email the licensing team.

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Guidance notes, fees and notices

Rules Governing Applications (May 2017) [PDF] (file size 131.58 KB)
Special Treatment Site Notice [PDF] (file size 97.06 KB)

Failed application redress

If an application for a licence is refused the applicant can appeal to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision. Magistrates' Court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.

Licence holder redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision. Magistrates' Court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

The council operates a complaints procedure. To view the complaints procedure or to make a complaint relating to the service you have received please see comments, complaints and feedback.

Other redress

 If your complaint relates to an existing licensed premises or a premises is suspected of operating without the required permission please contact the Council's Licensing Team on 020 7341 5152 or email licensingenf@rbkc.gov.uk

Trade Associations