Decision due over new lap dancing club in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road

Prince of Wales Road

Prince of Wales Road - Credit: Archant

A new lap dancing club for Norwich's city centre could be granted approval this week, despite city councillors claiming it could add 'sexual arousal to the drunkenness that afflicts the late night zone'.

Prince of Wales Road at night. Picture: Denise Bradley

Prince of Wales Road at night. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Norwich City Council's planning committee will decide on Thursday whether to grant an application to turn Bar 52, on Prince of Wales Road, into the B52 Lap Dancing Club.

Green party councillors Lesley Grahame and Ben Price both put forward their objections to the idea.

In identical letters sent in objection to the plans, the councillors argue that allowing the club would contradict national planning policy, which says planning decisions 'should aim to achieve places which promote safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion.'

The councillors said: 'Residents have made it clear on a number of occasions that they do not wish the see sex entertainment venues (SEVs) proliferate in Norwich, and that these establishments make them feel less safe.'

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They added: 'Even where crime and disorder do not directly increase in the vicinity of SEVs, such establishments contribute to an atmosphere of sexual aggression that undermines quality of life and community cohesion by making women, in particular, feel unsafe on the streets and unable to participate equally and safely in the city's nightlife.'

It was also said that people already avoid the area and 'adding sexual arousal to the drunkenness that afflicts the late night zone will only worsen the situation.'

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The listed building sits between nightclub Mantra and what was Sins Sins karaoke bar, and has flats above it.

And it is proposed the change to a lap dancing club would increase the part-time employees from eight to 18, with there continuing to be one full-time staff member.

On the ground floor there would be a main dancing platform, seating and a VIP area, as well as a bar.

In the basement there would be private dancing areas, for both individuals and groups, as well as offices and changing rooms.

In a statement Henacraft, the company behind the application, said: 'We do not agree with the statement that our application contradicts national planning policy and feel the proposed lap dancing club would provide a safe and accessible environment and in fact would reduce the amount of sexual aggression sometimes exhibited on the streets by intoxicated people on a night out.

'For quite some time now Henacraft has run a respectable drinking establishment at the application address and pride themselves on the fact that there has been no trouble within the establishment.

'We feel that the proposed lap dancing venue would provide a service to the local community in the proposed form of entertainment. We would like to add that in our experience the majority of lap dancing clubs are not the hellhole of depravity they are sometimes portrayed to be and are often frequented by ladies as well as gentlemen.' Officers are recommending that members of the planning committee grant planning permission for the scheme.

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