Lapdance clubs in licensing move

Perfect 10's on Lune Street in Preston
Perfect 10's on Lune Street in Preston
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Two lap dancing clubs have applied for new sexual entertainment licences following changes in the law.

The Government announced national amendments to licensing laws, to give local councils more control over lap dancing venues, two years ago.

The move means both of Preston’s strip bars, Perfect 10s in Lune Street and Room 32 in Guild Hall Street, have had to apply for new entertainment venue licences to cover the lap dancing element of their premises.

Under previous laws, lapdancing clubs were put in the same licensing category as pubs and cafes, so councils could object to applications only on the grounds of crime, nuisance or public safety.

Since April 2010, lap dancing venues were reclassified as ‘sex establishments’ and residents can raise concerns if they feel a club would be ‘inappropriate’ for the area - for example if it was close to a school or in a residential area.

No-one has made representations to Preston Council about Perfect 10s or Room 32’s applications.

The change in the law came after a Government consultation on licensing laws for lap dancing clubs.

Katherine Parry, principal licensing officer at the council, said the Goverment had wanted to give local authorities more powers under the reforms.

She said: “They reclassified (clubs) to bring it under better control. We have now got more enforcement powers.”

A report by Mike Thorpe, corporate environment director, recommends councillors approve both applications. The environmental protection and licensing committee will discuss them on August 21.

It has been estimated the number of lap dance venues had doubled in the UK since 2004 to more than 300.