CAMPAIGNERS have scored a victory after the bid to bring a lapdancing club to Southsea’s Albert Road was booted out by councillors today.
Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee feared Elegance’s plan would change the character of the area for the worse, add to parking misery and hamper small businesses and homes nearby.
The club would have also been open from 9pm until 4am.
The committee vote went 7-1 - with just Tory councillor Ken Ellcome voting in favour as he felt there was a ‘business case’ to set up the lapdancing venue and feared the plan will go through at an appeal hearing anyway.
But Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt, in leading the committee’s opposition to the proposal, said: ‘I am no prude, believe you me. But this is in the wrong location and it would destroy a lot of hard work from officers, residents and traders along Albert Road to turn it into a niche retail centre the council has strived for.
‘By all means, have a sexual entertainment venue in the city. Let’s have it on an industrial estate, where parking isn’t a problem, but not in residential areas, near the Salvation Army and near a wedding venue. How ironic could you be?’
The building was formerly the home of Southsea Conservative Club.
During the meeting, Elegance owner Paul Ojla, who also operates lapdancing clubs in Surrey Street and Granada Road, attempted to stem fears.
He said: ‘Gentlemen’s clubs don’t cause any problems. They don’t have youngsters loitering outside. They are upmarket, VIP clubs designed to a high standard.’