Southsea lap dancing club bid bites the dust as people power wins

A bid for a lap dancing club in Southsea's Albert Road has been thrown out after a majority vote by a panel of Portsmouth City Councillors. At an all day hearing, residents, businesses and local Councillors worked together to explain to the city's Licensing Committee how the venue would be inappropriate in the heart of Albert Road shops surrounded by dense residential housing and close to local schools, churches and community centres - keeping residents awake until the early hours of the morning. In a majority 2-1 vote Councillors agreed and decided not to grant a Sexual Entertainment Licence.

“We're glad a majority of Councillors reflected the evidence given by local residents when coming to their decision. This was always about what local people and businesses wanted and they were very clear that this was the wrong place for a lap dancing club” - Central Southsea Councillor, Lee Hunt.

In a separate earlier decision, the same committee did approve a Premises Licence (the sale of alcohol) for the same site.

The application was for the premise to open 9pm-4am, 365 days of the year. However, after strong representations from all 3 Central Southsea Lib Dem Councillors and St Jude Ward campaigner, Richard Adair, this was amended to:

  • 3am closing Mondays-Saturdays
  • 12.30am closing on Sundays

This was not as much of a reduction in the opening hours as we had campaigned for but was better than we had feared.

Central Southsea Lib Dem Ward Councillors Lee Hunt, Suzy Horton and Steve Pitt all spoke up for local residents at the licensing hearing agree that this is the right decision. St. Jude Ward Lib Dem campaigner, Richard Adair who also gave evidence at the hearing said “This shows people can influence decisions impacting on the area they live and work - it's a great result for them.”

Expressing his admiration for the campaign by local residents, shop-keepers and councillors Fratton Ward Lib Dem Councillor David Fuller, who was one of the three-member panel making the decisions, said, “I listened to everything that everyone said for and against the lap dancing club but for me it was just the wrong place with people living all around and close by", he added, "I have to say that all the evidence given by residents and businesses along there was very convincing. Ultimately, the Council's SEV Policy is very clear on this and I had no doubt that I was making the right decision by saying no”.

Southsea Lib Dems campaigned with residents, local businesses, including Andrew Pearce & Southsea Independent Traders and Jenni Catlow & the Albert Road Traders' Association and others to prove this was an inappropriate location for such a club.

Petitions were submitted in evidence along with 100s of objections reflecting the strength of opposition to the plans. We are glad the committee of three councillors agreed with us and voted 2 to 1 against granting a licence.

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