A sex shop has withdrawn its application to trade on a Sunday – but is allowed to have its door wedged to show customers it’s open for business.
Sex establishments in Cheshire are generally not allowed to trade on Sundays, Bank Holidays or any public holiday, according to Cheshire West and Chester Council licensing rules.
But in Chester Nice ‘N’ Naughty already opens its doors on the Sabbath day, and The Private Shop had planned to also buck the trend and open seven days a week.
Following an article in the Chester Chronicle last week, owners of the sex shop on Brook Street withdrew their application to trade on a Sunday, which had been due to be considered at a CWaC licensing committee meeting.
But councillors granted permission for staff to leave the front door to the XXX adult store ajar during trading hours– allowing for better disabled access and to show customers they are open.
Staff at the store, which is just one of two sex shops in the city, have been asked to close their outer door following visits from CWaC officers who noticed they had wedged it open – breaching licensing conditions.
One objector to the adult store’s application said allowing the outer door to be propped open would ‘weaken safeguards’ stopping passers-by, including children, seeing inside the shop, which sells porn, sex toys and ‘martial art’ equipment.
“I believe that this is harmful to young people and demeaning to those involved in the production of pornography,” says the unnamed objector on CWaC’s website.
“Brook Street also has an annual street carnival on a Sunday, which is very much a family occasion. Is it really desirable that a sex shop should be open right in the middle of that?”
The application would have seen the adult store open 10-5pm every Sunday, adding to the current 10-8pm Monday-Friday opening hours.
The renewal application had only received one objection.
The Private Shop is one of two sex shops in Chester, with Nice ‘N’ Naughty also operating on Brook Street.
Platinum Lounge, the city’s only strip club, does not open on a Sunday, and is having its sex establishment licence currently reviewed by councillors.
CWaC confirmed that the licensing rules disallowing Sunday trading for sex establishments were ‘long standing’ bu did not clarify why.