Opposition to an Old Town strip club has resurfaced in the run up to a hearing which will decide if its sexual entertainment licence is renewed.
Last August Shades Gentlemen’s Club, in High Street, was granted the licence by Warwick District Council’s regulatory committee with a vote of five to four in favour.
This was the third time the club had applied for the licence, having been unsuccessful in June 2011 and March 2012.
The club has now applied for the annual renewal, with a hearing date yet to be set, and campaigners against sexual entertainment venues in Warwick District will again make their objections known.
Archie Pitts, vice chairman of the Leamington Society, said: “Objections should not list moral or religious grounds as such reasons are not allowable and including them may cause the whole objection to be rejected.
“Valid reasons are the increasingly residential nature of the area and that there are clubs and societies in the neighbourhood which attract children, families and young people and that there are places of worship in the neighbourhood.
“The regeneration of Old Town is being hindered by the presence of such establishments and the club is in close proximity to a bus stop and railway station that are used by more than two million passengers each year.”
The Hindu Religious Association of Leamington and Warwick (HRA) was granted permission to challenge the council’s decision at the High Court in April and this judicial review was due to be heard in June.
But the HRA withdrew its challenge as it felt it had won the argument and in a statement the association said: “We feel vindicated that we were granted permission for the review. We feel on the balance however that there are better ways to oppose Shades and we did not feel that significant amounts of tax payers’ money would be well spent on pursuing the case.”
At the licensing hearing last August solicitor Ian Besant, representing owners Robert and Lisa Ransford, argued that Shades had been run as a strip club for four years before new legislation was brought in and there had been no complaints or issues.
He pointed out that neither Warwickshire Police or Environmental Health had raised any objections to the application.
Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Kenilworth Abbey) also said there was no solid evidence the club would affect the area in the way objectors had suggested.
Representations must be made by September 5.
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