Portsmouth lapdance club Elegance faces councillors over contested bid to renew its sexual entertainment licence

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THE fate of a controversial lapdance club in Portsmouth will be decided this week after plans to renew its licence attracted more than 80 objections.

Directors of Elegance in Granada Road, Southsea, have applied to renew the venue’s licence after it expired earlier this year.

However, the bid has come under fire from residents amid concerns over anti-social behaviour and the safety of women.

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Portsmouth lap dancing club in Southsea faces fierce opposition as it bids for r...
Paul Ojla who owns the Elegance gentlemans club in Southsea.
Picture: Ian Hargreaves  ( 120861-4)Paul Ojla who owns the Elegance gentlemans club in Southsea.
Picture: Ian Hargreaves  ( 120861-4)
Paul Ojla who owns the Elegance gentlemans club in Southsea. Picture: Ian Hargreaves ( 120861-4)

A total of 83 objections and one letter of support have been received by Portsmouth City Council over the matter - although only 21 of the objections have come from city residents.

One said: ‘In my opinion the lap dancing club has no place in a respectable area.

‘I am aware that women have experienced sexual assaults in nearby neighbourhoods and the presence of this kind of establishment may be seen to normalise, and even legitimise the view that women are there to service the sexual needs of men.’

Another objection submitted said: ‘It is a completely inappropriate area for such an establishment being so close to a residential area, two schools, local shops and facilities as well as a church, which holds community activities when allowed.

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‘Granada Road has long-established issues with the number of people hanging around who exhibit anti-social behaviour. My family and I have been yelled at by drunks and openly asked where to get drugs from or offered drugs, along this road.’

In their application directors Jaspal Ojla and Rashwinder Kaur Ojla of Wellhot Ltd - which also owns strip club Wiggle in the city centre - set out their rules for the premises.

It said: ‘A set of performers’ rules are in place. All performers have to sign our code of conduct and anyone in breach is suspended.

Customers are verbally told of our code of conduct on entry. Posters are also placed around the venue. Customers who do not abide by the rules are asked to leave.’

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If approved the venue will be able to serve alcoholic drinks and host dancing until 3am.

A decision will be made at a meeting of the council’s licencing committee on Friday.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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