Blackpool lap dancers have been ordered to stay covered up after a club’s bid to allow naked performers was turned down.
Heaven at Gaiety’s on the Promenade asked Blackpool Council to remove a condition banning naked dancers at its licence renewal hearing.
Club boss Trevor Robbins said the non-naked clause needed removing to help his venue compete with clubs in Preston and Manchester as the lap dancing industry continued to decline.
Speaking to the council’s public protection committee, he said: “We are one of only a small number of towns on which this condition has been placed, and we believe removing this condition can give us a competitive value that we greatly need.
“Many of our customers are holidaymakers and they ask us if we do naked dancing. When we say no, they walk away. They will get on the train and go to Preston or Manchester where nakedness is permitted. We are making about 30 per cent of what we did three years ago. Rates are going up, costs are going up and we need to be more competitive.”
Mr Robbins said the dancers would only be naked for the last 30 seconds of a six-minute dance. He said the dances would take place in private booths. He added: “There will be no nudity in the stage area and no-one will be walking around naked. We don’t want lots of naked women all over the place. It will be their choice to go naked. They are not going to be forced.”
But councillors on the committee were not keen on removing the condition.
Chairman of the committee, Coun Norman Hardy, said: “I think it’s nothing more than pure titillation.
“Other places that don’t have this condition are not seaside resorts. We are talking about raising Blackpool, not lowering it.”
Coun Christine Wright said if the committee agreed to remove the nudity condition for Heaven, other venues would also apply.
She said: “It would lower standards in Blackpool.”
The committee agreed to renew Heaven’s licence, but said they would not remove the condition banning dancers from being naked.