A bid to open a lap dancing bar in a former restaurant has been given the go-ahead – despite fears the move would damage Blackpool’s reputation as a family resort.
Blackpool Council’s public protection sub-committee agreed an application from John Sayers for a sex entertainment venue licence for the former September Brasserie, in Queen Street.
He had applied to operate Eden 1 from 7pm until 3.30am Monday to Thursday, 4pm to 3.30am on Fridays, and 2pm to 3.30am at the weekend. The ground floor Kraze bar will remain.
But councillors imposed strict conditions, including that the club may only open between 9pm and 3.30am, it cannot tout for business and signing must be minimal.
The ruling complies with the council’s policy to allow only four sex entertainment venue licences in the town, because the Rouge lap dancing club in nearby Clifton Street has closed.
Mr Sayers said he believed Queen Street would attract more trade than Clifton Street.
He said: “I feel we are moving the licence to a better location which attracts more of the older end of the market, while Rouge is where there are a lot of families walking past.
“Queen Street is more the party street.”
But councillors said families also frequented Queen Street.
Coun Christine Wright said: “Families frequent the Litten Tree for meals and I find it quite alarming you want to open at 4pm on Fridays and 2pm on Saturdays.”
Normoss resident Jasmine Geddes had objected to the application and warned having too many lap dancing clubs would deter families from visiting the resort.
She said: “I have lived here 60 years and have seen Blackpool go from a lovely family town to a sleazy place.
“If we want families to come here on holiday, we are going to have to work really hard to stop this.
“Society as a whole is obsessed with sex and that has a negative affect on our young people.”
Committee chairman Coun Norman Hardy said the council had taken a stand against too many lap dancing clubs opening by limiting the number of licences to four.
Following the decision, he said: “There were concerns but we felt the application could be granted subject to the added conditions and monitoring as normal.”