South Leamington nightclub in new bid for adult entertainment licence

AN OLD TOWN nightclub twice refused a pole dancing licence has made a third attempt to reopen for adult entertainment.

Shades in High Street had its second application to operate as a sex entertainment venue turned down by Warwick District Council in March because of its proximity to houses and Leamington’s Hindu temple.

Shades had been offering adult entertainment at a snooker club in the Parade in 2007, and had moved to Wise Street the following year.

There were no objections to that application but the council’s regulatory committee refused the club a licence when new legislation came into effect last year.

The decision was repeated in March when owner Lisa Ransford submitted a new application. The club had offered to cut opening times, remove signs and close on religious holidays, but objectors said it would give the area a “sleazy” atmosphere and undermine regeneration.

The nightclub submitted a new application last week, this time for performances from 11pm to 3am from Tuesday to Thursday and until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ward councillor Alan Wilkinson (Lab, Leamington Brunswick) said he was “surprised”, adding: “The reasons for it being rejected haven’t changed, it is in a residential area. I hope the committee will support its previous decision.”

Cllr Wilkinson is among Labour and Green Party politicians campaigning to cap the number of sexual entertainment venues in Warwick district, alongside the Rev Christopher Wilson, priest-in-charge at All Saints’ church, Leamington.

Mr Wilson says that as only one application a year is allowed, the latest attempt is not in the spirit of the policy.

He said: “I trust the council will reject this application outright. Sexual entertainment venues are not allowed to reapply for a licence within a year of a previous failed application.

“There was some debate in March as to whether an application could be heard only nine months after the previous application, because it was made in a different name. On that occasion Shades was given the benefit of the doubt.

“This time, I hope councillors and officers will recognise their accountability to members of the public, and will ensure that public time and money are not wasted on yet another hearing.”