RESIDENTS are invited to comment on a sex establishment licence application by an existing lap dancing club in Chester city centre.
Objectors to the Platinum Lounge club in Bridge Street Row have until end of business on Friday, October 14, to pass on their views to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s licensing team.
The move comes after the council’s licensing committee adopted a regulatory regime allowing such clubs to be controlled in the same way as sex shops and ‘blue’ cinemas.
Previously lap dancing clubs applied for a premises licence like a pub or nightclub, with conditions allowing performance and dance.
Applicants only had to prove no disruption to public order or safety and that children were protected from harm.
The council could not consider the legitimate objections of local residents.
Now, an establishment that provides any live display of nudity which is ‘reasonably assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience’ needs a sex establishment licence. However, premises that hold such entertainment on no more than 12 occasions a year are exempt.
The measure, backed after a public consultation, gives the council the power to reject an application and set the licence fee, which will be £5,000.
In addition to Platinum Lounge, Chester has two sex shops – the Private Shop and Nice ‘n’ Naughty – both in Brook Street.
Chester resident Alison Leonard, who commented as part of the consultation, said the presence of such clubs ‘normalises’ the attitude of women as sex objects rather than human beings.