As reported earlier this year, a plan to open a licensed lap dance club in Worcester in the Butts was stymied first by the fact that Worcester realised they hadn’t adopted the Policing and Crime Act 2009 powers to licence SEVs, and then by local opposition. The prospective licensee in this case subsequently withdrew his application, but has not found a new location where he will be permitted to host striptease on a waiver unless there are serious concerns raised under the powers of the 2003 Licensing Act. This has provoked opposition, but also some support from local business owners who feel the premise might add some vibrancy and vitality to a struggling retail location (Lowesmoor).
‘Lap dancing club plans for Doncaster town centre have been rejected following serious concerns about the possible effect on the sensitive work carried out at a neigbouring women’s centre.
Enterprise Inns had applied to change the Loaded pub at 54 Printing Office Street into a strip joint but Doncaster Council members agreed the site was “wholly inappropriate”’
For reference, the planning officer recommending granting the application given the club is in a part of town where use by young people and children is low, and noted the blacked out windows would mean few passers by would be aware of the nature of the premise. There were 5 objection letters which spelt out concerns as follows:
“WomenCentre Ltd has written to Calderdale Council objecting to an application by La Salsa in Halifax to renew its ‘sex establishment licence’.
Both La Salsa and WomenCentre are in Silver Street in the town.
They opened in the same street and in the same week back in 2002.
In a letter to the council’s licensing department, a WomenCentre official raises concerns about the “exploitation of women” at the lap dancing club.
“At WomenCentre we support women from all over Calderdale with a range of issues and also offer many different courses and drop-in services.
“We promote positive lifestyles and the location of such an establishment directly opposite our centre could act as a deterrent to some women who may wish to access our services.
“The title of ‘sexual encounter establishment’ raises concerns around the exploitation of women and as such we wish to object to the licence.”
A trustee of the charity has also objected, saying: “I find the idea of such an establishment in the town centre inappropriate and abhorrent.”
The council’s director of communities, Robin Tuddenham, said: “All venues of this kind are required to renew their licence on a yearly basis. If the Council receive any objections to the licence renewal application, then the decision on the renewal is made by members of the Licensing Regulatory Committee. In reaching their decision members will take into account the complaints received and the way the club has been operated during the previous 12 months. The application to renew the licence for La Salsa will be considered at the Licensing and Regulatory Committee on Monday December 16 at Halifax Town Hall.”
There are three public objections in total, two linked to the Women’s Centre.
Update on the Leeds SEV closures (and this one will run and run one suspects). Tow clubs have been given leave to remain open pending a judicial review. This applies to Deep Blue and Wildcats, while a third club is waiting to see if it will also be allowed to remain open. See:
I have no information about the decision to close the clubs beyond the press release: there are no minutes for the open hearings in November, weeks later, and the deliberations of the committee were held in closed session. So presumably the clubs have been given explicit reasons why their licences have not been renewed. If it is merely the fact they are inappropriately located, then this will be difficult to appeal against as the discretion that local authorities have within the law is wide indeed in this respect. Whether or not this decision has been democratically arrived at through due deliberation and consultation might be something that is raised by the clubs: it has been raised on several fora and blogs that the results of local consultations on SEVs have been far from unequivocal.
Details of the case for securing stay of council’s decision by the solicitor involved at:
Over recent weeks the York Feminist Network have been encouraging opposition to the venue ‘Upstairs’ in York which is going for its first renewal.
This story is reported in:
The Feminist Network has set up an online petition for opponents to argue for a nil limit on cubs in the city centre. In theory, the local authority can disregard signatures and objections from those who are not local residents, and it is never clear what weight would be put on a petition vs a written objection. However, the fact that there is opposition suggests this renewal will have to be delegated to committee and a decision made which will displease some, whatever way it pans out.
Refusal 36, 37 and 38: Wildcats, Deep Blue and Red Leopard, Leeds. Not seen any official press release or news coverage for this, but reported on:
This is in line with the SEV policy for Leeds and follows some long running campaigning. However, the three clubs shut attracted the same standard objections as the other clubs in the city, and there is no record of licensing infractions in these venues: it seems they are simply in the wrong part of town.
“The applications for Deep Blue of Wellington Street, LS1, Red Leopard and Wildcats both of The Headrow, LS1, were refused due to the number of buildings with sensitive uses nearby to the location of the premises,” says a press release from Leeds City Council.
Appeals could of course follow, but only on the basis of unreasonable processes of determining the application, not the grounds that the clubs are inappropriate in the locality – expect this one to run and run.
More to follow when I have more info.
Three objections were received to the renewal of the SEV licence for this club. One objection was from the licensing officer as they argued the signage exceeded the a2 size stipulated in the licensing conditions. However, the licensing committee decided to renew, promoting what the local press termed as ‘anger’ from local residents.