Oxford

Oxford lap dancing club The Lodge has licence refused

Oxford's only lap dancing club has had its application for a licence turned down by the council.

One of the owners of The Lodge in Pennyfarthing Place, Alistair Thompson, said he was "surprised and disappointed".

"We are now taking legal advice and potentially looking at going to a judicial review," he added.

The Reverend Vaughan Roberts, Rector of the neighbouring St Ebbe's church, said it was "relieved."

The church has been a vocal opponent of The Lodge which has been operating next to it for more than a year.

St Ebbe's launched an appeal against the original licence because of concerns over public safety.

But in July 2010 it was forced to pay £12,000 in legal costs when a judge at Oxford Magistrates' Court threw out its appeal, saying there was no evidence of a safety risk.

'Demean women'

A change in the law in 2010 meant that venues such as The Lodge were classed as sex establishments rather than as pubs or cafes, meaning they had to apply for a new licence.

Mr Roberts said: "We aren't keen on such premises anywhere to be honest because we think the demean women and aren't good for marriage.

"But if they were to be anywhere we just think that this is a very inappropriate place for such a venue."

Mr Thompson said: "We can continue to trade as we are now pending our appeal against the decision, so I think we'll be there for a wee while yet."

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