Council throws out Southsea strip club bid

The former Conservative club in Albert Road which was at the centre of the strip club bid
The former Conservative club in Albert Road which was at the centre of the strip club bid
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

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COUNCILLORS have rejected a controversial plan to open up a new strip club in Southsea’s Albert Road.

The proposal to open up the lap dancing venue was thrown out after a majority vote by a panel of Portsmouth City Council councillors.

It comes after a hard-fought campaign by Southsea residents, businesses and ward councillors who said businessman Paul Ojla’s plan would be ‘inappropriate’ for the area.

Councillors took more than a week to make their decision before rejecting the application to move Elegance from its site in Granada Road, Southsea, to the former Conservative club in Albert Road.

In a majority two-to-one vote councillors agreed and decided not to grant the venue a sexual entertainment licence.

Councillor Lee Hunt was relieved at the news. The Lib Dem Central Southsea representative said: ‘We’re glad a majority of councillors reflected the evidence given by local residents when coming to their decision.

‘This was always about what local people and businesses wanted and they were very clear that this was the wrong place for a lap dancing club.’

In a separate earlier decision, the same committee did approve a premises licence for the sale of alcohol at the same site.

The application was for the premise to open 9pm-4am, 365 days of the year. However, this was amended to 3am closing on Monday to Saturday and a 12.30am closing on Sundays.

At a previous meeting, Mr Ojla pledged if he was unable to open up Elegance in Albert Road, he would re-open the venue at its current base in Granada Road.

He said he would continue running both Elegance and his other strip joint, Wiggle, in Surrey Street.