Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southsea Conservative club lap-dancing appeal allowed

The Southsea Conservative Club Image copyright Google
Image caption The venue would have moved to the former Southsea Conservative Club's first floor

Permission to turn a former Conservative club in Southsea into a lap-dancing venue has been granted after a council's decision was overturned.

Portsmouth City Council previously refused to allow Elegance, in Granada Road, to move to Albert Road and open between 21:00 and 04:00.

But an appeal has now been granted by planning inspector Jo Dowling.

The council's licensing committee now needs to also give its approval.

Mr Dowling said after visiting the area her view was that the proposed venue "would not be out of character".

'Hundreds in support'

She said: "I acknowledge that the presence of a lap dancing venue may deter some people from visiting this part of Albert Road.

"However, as already highlighted due to its first floor location the proposed lap dancing venue would have a very limited physical presence on the street.

"Being a late-night venue the proposed use would not operate at the same time as the majority of the daytime businesses."

Before the original application was rejected more than 1,300 people signed petitions against the move and the city council received 63 objections.

But 468 supportive representations were also received, one of which said lap-dancing clubs "tend to have the least amount of crime associated with them".

Conservative city MP Flick Drummond and the Unison union's South East Regional Women's Committee both also opposed the plan.

Applicant Paul Ojla also runs the lap-dancing club Wiggle in Surrey Street.

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