Final decision: Should a lapdancing club be allowed in Albert Road?

Paul Ojla outside Elegance's current home in Granada Road
Paul Ojla outside Elegance's current home in Granada Road
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A DECISION is to be made soon over a lap dancing venue’s bid to move into Southsea’s Albert Road.

Elegance lodged an appeal against Portsmouth City Council’s decision to reject its plan to leave Granada Road and set up in the more commercially-led street.

I don’t know where people get the reference to Albert Road being quirky. There’s nothing I would say to prove that – the nightlife in Albert Road is the only thing that’s made Albert Road a success.

Elegance owner Paul Ojla

A hearing with a planning inspector has taken place – and the firm’s owner is now waiting to see if his bid to use the former Southsea Conservative Club building is approved.

Concerns had been raised over whether Albert Road was the right area for a sexual entertainment venue, and there were fears it would harm the street’s image and cause an imbalance in the number of shops, bars and homes.

But Elegance owner, Paul Ojla, has hit back at the criticism and said Albert Road’s success is solely down to its nightlife – which the council is ‘attempting to shut down’.

Mr Ojla said: ‘The whole area is starting to look like a line of second-hand shops.

‘I don’t know where people get the reference to Albert Road being quirky.

‘I would say there’s nothing to prove that – the nightlife in Albert Road is the only thing that’s made Albert Road a success.

‘It’s not the day-time economy that’s making it a success.

‘The council seems to want to stamp out the nightlife.

‘We used to have the best seafront around, and there’s nothing there now. It’s dead.

‘That should be the part bringing in the people.

‘If it was, we wouldn’t want to be moving away from Granada Road.’

But others say Mr Ojla is ‘sulking’ over the fact he’s lost trade – and isn’t thinking about others.

Jenni Catlow, chairwoman of the Albert Road Traders’ Association, said: ‘We as an association have spent an awful lot of time and money, along with the council to bring the level of this road up.

‘Mr Ojla wants to log into the night-time trade in Albert Road, because he thinks Portsmouth City Council took it all away from him. He chose to be in Granada Road when there were nightclubs in that area and when the pier was open. But that’s all gone and now he is sulking.’

She added: ‘A lot of the publicans in Albert Road are worried that if he comes in, it will take away their trade.’