Nightclub granted sexual entertainment licence at third time of asking

THIRD time has proven to be the charm in a Leamington nightclub’s bid to provide regular adult entertainment.

Warwick District Council’s regulatory committee voted by five to four in favour of granting Shades Gentleman’s Club in High Street, Old Town, a sex establishment licence which will allow lap dancing and pole dancing at the premises from 11pm to 3am from Tuesday to Thursday and until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

In a public hearing at Leamington town hall today (Monday), councillors asked for their votes to be individually recorded.

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Those in favour of granting the licence were Conservative councillors Felicity Bunker and Dave Shilton (both Kenilworth Park Hill), George Illingworth (Kenilworth Abbey), Elizabeth Higgins (Warwick West) and committee chairwoman Sue Gallagher (Leek Wootton).

Those against were councillors Eithne Goode (Lib, Leamington Manor), Barbara Weed (Lab, Leamington Willes), Dave Wreford-Bush (lib, Leamington Manor) and Bertie MacKay (Ind, Stoneleigh).

The committee had heard representations from several objectors who had raised concerns about the safety of residents including female students, its proximity to the Hindu Temple in High Street and the detrimental effect the club could have on the regeneration of the area.

Ian Besant, the solicitor representing applicants and owners Robert and Lisa Ransford, argued that the business had been run as a strip club for four years before new legislation came in and there had been no complaints or issues with the club.

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He pointed out that neither Warwickshire Police or Environmental Health had raised any objections to the application.

Putting forward the proposal to grant the application, Cllr Illingworth said there was no solid evidence the club would affect the area in the way objectors had suggested.

This was the third time Shades had applied for a licence, having had two previous applications rejected in June 2011 and March this year.

At its busiest the venue has between 120 and 140 customers and up to 40 on week nights.

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Amara VIP nightclub in Court Street was also granted a sex establishment licence earlier this year causing residents to raise concerns that old town would become like a ‘red light district’ if Shades’ application was successful.

Shades’ current sign shows the outline of a woman posing where the A should be in the club’s title.

A condition of the licence will be for this sign to be changed to a single font.

More to follow.