Supporters rally behind bid for lapdancing club in Southsea's Albert Road

SUPPORTERS have rallied behind the bid to bring a lapdancing club to Southsea's Albert Road.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 6:10 am
There are plans to turn the former Southsea Conservative Club into a lapdancing club

More than 450 people have written to Portsmouth City Council pledging to back Elegance’s bid to move from Granada Road – a more residential area.

In a report going to the council’s planning committee, which will examine the plan on Wednesday, the pro-Elegance campaign argue ‘We need more business in Britain and as long as it’s legal it should be allowed to flourish.’

They’ve submitted identical letters which state: ‘Lap-dancing clubs tend to have the least amount of crime associated with them, due to the average age of customers visiting. It’s a venue where mostly mature individuals have a chance to enjoy a good night out, without being hassled by teenagers and young adults.’

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But there is strong opposition to the proposal – a petition submitted by the Albert Road Traders’ Association has attracted 580 signatures.

A separate online petition against the plan, which would see Elegance set up in the former Southsea Conservative Club, has been signed 622 times.

Green Party member Ian McCulloch, who set up the online petition, said: ‘It’s an inappropriate place for a venue like that.

‘I would like to find some way to not have venues like that anywhere in Portsmouth, full stop. Though I know that wouldn’t be likely.

‘But it’s the wrong place. Albert Road is a thriving set of local, independent shops.

‘It’s one of the jewels in Portsmouth’s crown. Putting a lapdancing club in the middle of it is just wrong.’

Mr McCulloch also feared that, should Elegance move and another developer then lodged a bid for a lapdancing club at the Granada Road site, it would be difficult to turn down.

Yet planning officers have sided with supporters and recommended it be approved.

They say the proposal ‘would not give rise to harm to the character or amenity of the area’.

The council report adds: ‘The nature of the proposed use is such that it is considered reasonable and necessary to impose a planning condition restricting the hours of use to between the proposed 9pm and 4am.’