Bid for relocation of Southsea lapdancing club set to be refused

Planning officers have advised the committee to reject Elegance's plans to move
Planning officers have advised the committee to reject Elegance's plans to move
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COUNCILLORS are being advised to refuse a lapdancing club’s bid to move into Albert Road.

Planning officers have recommended Elegance’s proposal to move into the Southsea street from nearby Granada Road should be thrown out.

It wants to turn the former 149 Conservative social club next to The Wedgewood Rooms into a ground floor bar and hold lapdancing upstairs.

But a council report being brought before a planning committee on Wednesday says there are already enough drinking venues nearby – including The Leopold Tavern and The Bold Forester.

There are concerns that the extra noise would have a detrimental effect on nearby neighbours, despite there being no issues over noise at the current Elegance site.

And it is feared ultimately that the venue would affect the council’s policy of keeping a healthy mix of shops and pubs in Albert Road – and similar applications could be made in future.

Thirty-one objections have been submitted to the council, and only one has been sent in support.

Lib Dem ward councillor Lee Hunt said the venue was not welcome.

‘It’s just not wanted there; by residents, shopkeepers and local councillors,’ he said.

‘It would be in the wrong place, and there is a strong policy supporting Albert Road’s shops which I helped to bring in.’

Cllr Donna Jones, Tory leader of the council, said the club would be out of character with the area.

‘I am strongly opposed to this application for the relocation of the lapdancing club,’ she said.

‘Albert Road is an area of special interest with independent and unique boutique shops offering unusual gifts and services. In an area that is close to schools and houses and has a high footfall of young people, it is inappropriate.’ Those opposing the proposal say women will be afraid to walk near the club at night and Elegance’s current site looks ‘seedy’.

The 149 club was separate from the Conservative Party and affiliated to the Association of Conservative Clubs.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, said: ‘The officers’ recommendation is to refuse it, and that’s something the committee should be mindful of.’

Paul Ojla, director of Elegance, was unavailable for comment.