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26th Jun, 2022

Lowesmoor lap-dance club wins battle to stay open

Worcester Editorial 22nd Oct, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A LAP-dancing club in Worcester which has received fierce opposition from surrounding residents has had its licence extended.

Worcester City Council’s licensing sub-committee agreed to give Black Cherry gentleman’s club in Lowesmoor a sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licence at a meeting on Monday (October 20).

The club opened in March after taking over a former nightclub. But this decision means it will be allowed to continue trading from January 1, 2015.

The application for a new licence, made by Black Cherry Entertainment Limited, sparked anger from residents who fear it could damage the reputation of the area.

Ken Boyce, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of Black Horse Walk resident David Rogers, said the venue was “inappropriate” and could discourage people from living in Lowesmoor.

“By granting an SEV licence to Black Cherry, it would be potentially detrimental to the residential well-being and commercial prosperity of Worcester,” he said.

“I believe residents will be deterred from staying long term and the population would become temporary if the presence of Black Cherry creates the impression of a red light district and bring furthers incidents of disturbance.”

A total of 11 letters of objection were also submitted to the city council, with some residents claiming the venue would make many women feel “unsafe” and “objectified”, while others felt it was too close to the St Martin’s Quarter.

However, Heath Thomas, who was representing owner Ashvin Patel, said they were just “perceived concerns” while he believed an online petition did not carry much weight as only 103 of the 260 people who signed it were from Worcester.

He also insisted there was a “low risk” of anti social behaviour as he said there was a “very comprehensive” security system, with panic buttons in every dance area.

“This is widely held to be one of the most controlled activities up and down the country,” he said. “When we compare SEVs to public houses and nightclubs in terms of crime and disorder or public nuisance it is not something which lifts its head above the parapet.”

West Mercia Police also failed to lodge any objections to the application, while Mr Thomas said the venue had helped to improve parts of the area.

“My client has put CCTV in which shows up and down the street and there was an alleyway where drug paraphernalia had been found has now been secured, so his presence in the street is actually assisting, not adding to crime and disorder,” he added.

What do you think? Does a lap-dancing club belong in Lowesmoor? E-mail

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