South West Wales

Sex entertainment venues face Swansea council ban

York Place Baptist Church with Bellissima to the left of it
Image caption Bellissima next to York Place Baptist Church was the last place to be given a licence

Sex entertainment venues could be banned in Swansea as councillors want to cap the number at "nil".

They plan to change the current policy from each application being dealt with on its own merits to one where they will "normally be refused".

It covers lap dancing, pole dancing, table dancing, strip shows, peep shows and live sex shows.

Councillors are expected to decide on changes at Thursday's cabinet meeting.

A report to the cabinet, which will meet on Thursday, says: "Members have requested that the current policy is reviewed with a view to introducing an appropriate number of nil for sexual entertainment venues in the city centre.

"It is not proposed that an appropriate number will be considered for the other types of sex establishments and any such applications will continue to be dealt with on their merits."

Among the changes, the report suggests "a presumption that applications for sex establishments outside the city centre area and sexual entertainment venues in the city centre area will normally be refused".

One licence

Putting a numerical control on the number establishments is allowed under UK legislation.

Swansea currently has one venue with a licence for sex entertainment which runs out in April next year.

Thomas-Bellis Leisure attracted controversy earlier this year when it was granted a licence for a pole dancing and strip club next to a church in York Street.

But its club Bellissima, which has since changed to bar and lounge venue Club Rouge, has not been able to use its licence as Swansea council is the property's leaseholder and will not agree a change of planning use.

York Place Baptist Church minister, the Reverend Haydn Dennis, objected to the licence stating there were "deep spiritual objections".

More than 1,000 opponents also signed a petition against it.

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