Future of Portsmouth lapdancing clubs to be debated by city councillors

The Wiggle Club in Surrey Street, Portsmouth
The Wiggle Club in Surrey Street, Portsmouth
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THE owner of two lapdancing venues is asking the city council to continue licences for his current clubs as campaigners keep fighting against his plans to move.

Paul Ojla is hoping to move Elegance from Granada Road, Southsea, to the former Conservative club in Albert Road, also in Southsea.

His request for a sexual entertainment premises licence for the new venue is with Portsmouth City Council.

But later this month councillors are set to meet to determine if two existing licences, for Granada Road, and at Wiggle, in Surrey Street, Landport, will continue as they currently are.

Steve Pitt, Lib Dem ward member for Central Southsea, said he would be ‘absolutely gobsmacked’ if the existing businesses were not given permission to continue as they are.

He said police had not objected and to his knowledge there were no breaches of the licence.

Cllr Pitt said: ‘I would be absolutely gobsmacked if they decided to shut two businesses that exist.’

Cllr Pitt said the two licences were being looked at as policies around sexual entertainment venues had been updated since they were granted, and they needed to be approved or rejected before the new licence was determined.

The meeting will take place next Monday in the Civic Offices.

Mr Ojla said: ‘The licences were decided in 2012. It’s just following from that, it’s just renewals.

‘This is just for those two premises’ licences, which are going through for them.

‘I’ve had no objections to them, we’ve had no issues with them.’

Mr Ojla won planning permission on appeal in February last year to have a lapdancing club in Albert Road.

Now he has submitted a request for a licence for the proposed venue.

He said: ‘We’re going to be handing the Elegance (licence) back if we’re successful with Albert Road.

‘That message has not got through to people.

‘People were under the impression we’re going to be opening a third club, not that we were just moving from Granada Road to Albert Road.’

News of the licence application kick-started campaigns by Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Southsea, as both held separate meetings in a bid to campaign against the move.

Yesterday was the closing date to submit objections for Albert Road.