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‘No sex in the city’ lobby scuppers lap dance club
CONCERN: Councillor Lynn Denham was worried that the former Images nightclub could have become a lap dancing club.
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a lap dancing club in Worcester are set to be withdrawn today in response to public outrage – but the applicant is still looking to open a club elsewhere in the city.
The proposal to open the club in the Butts, Worcester was due to be heard by Worcester City Council’s licensing committee tomorrow, but the applicant has opted to withdraw it because of objections raised by the public. The club, once called Images and then Funk, had been a lap dancing club in the past.
A spokesman for applicant Ash Patel said he remained committed to opening Black Cherry in Worcester and he is now looking at finding a site which would be deemed more suitable.
The spokesman said Mr Patel was responding to concerns about the club’s close proximity to the Hive, Worcester’s library and history centre after some objectors expressed concerns about “the corruption of the young” if teenagers using the Hive encountered the club’s visitors. He said: “Some campaigners will score this as a moral victory but there is a very good chance the licence would have been granted. There was nothing in the application which would breach the licensing guidelines. Some of the objections were rather speculative.”
He also pointed out that the Hive itself had a licence to serve alcohol just as the strip club would have enjoyed, had its premises licence been granted.
Mr Patel is now looking for an alternative Worcetser venue “in a more appropriate location”.
“Despite being quite confident there were no grounds to refuse this application he’s sensitive to the concerns of people who have made representations against the application,” said the spokesman. “The police are not against it with no objection in principle and are happy to impose certain conditions which are standard in the industry.”
We previously reported how Worcester City Council had failed to adopt 2009 legislation so the application had to be considered under less strict 2003 rules. The application could not be considered as a “sexual entertainment venue” because the legislation was not adopted, an oversight already condemned by the licensing committee chairman, Coun Paul Denham. The application, had it come to the committee this week, would have been viewed as a straightforward premises licence application instead.
While not objecting the the application, West Mercia Police had called for a host of rules to be put in place to govern activity at the club.