The first lap-dancing bar in the borough is set to open after being given the go-ahead by planning bosses. Councillors have granted planning permission for the bar to open, despite protesters handing in a 1,500-signature petition against it.
The first lap-dancing bar in the borough is set to open after being given the go-ahead by planning bosses.
Councillors have granted planning permission for the bar to open, despite protesters handing in a 1,500-signature petition against it.
The decision was made at a planning meeting with chairman Coun Bernard Dawson casting the deciding vote after a tie.
The Rev Kevin Logan, who has been leading the protests against the plans, accused the council of being ‘unwise’ in granting the permission.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “I think it is greatly disappointing that it fell by a casting vote. I think the council are so unwise to go ahead with such an unpopular decision on a casting vote.
“We are going to protest about it and continue this.
“Obviously people are swaying towards a no.”
The Observer revealed last week how council planning officers recommended the bar be approved, stating in a report that it would maintain the ‘vitality of the town centre’ and not harm local residents.
The club, which will be known as I Candy, was previously granted an alcohol and Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence by the council last year.
Speaking at the planning meeting on behalf of the applicant, Stuart Booth said the bar on Blackburn Road would ‘boost’ the night-time economy. He said: “There are a number of bars and pubs in the area that could be complemented with different night time entertainment venues. It will have a knock-on benefit to bars and taxis.
“It will not be open during the day, will not be visible outside the premises and not impact on the street scene or immediate area. It was previously used as a club and had no complaints.”
Coun Clare Cleary told the committee more jobs were needed in the borough but questioned whether the bar was suitable for the town.
She said: “Is this the type of employment young women should be aspiring to where they are seen as objects and not as people?”
Coun Dawson, who cast the deciding vote, said he voted in favour of the application after finding ‘no planning reasons to turn it down’.
Mr Booth declined to comment after the decision was made.