Policy to regulate sex entertainment venues in Norwich has not been implemented - seven years after councillors agreed on powers to do so

Prince of Wales Road at night. Picture: Denise Bradley

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

Almost seven years after the idea to regulate sex entertainment venues in the city was first mooted, a policy agreed by councillors is yet to be implemented, it has been revealed.

Lesley Grahame. Photo: Archant library

Lesley Grahame. Photo: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Government legislation introduced in 2009 gave local authorities the power to regulate sex entertainment venues (SEVs), such as lap dancing clubs and sex cinemas.

And in March 2010 Norwich City Council's licensing committee agreed to adopt the legislation which would allow them to make their own policy on the issue.

But nearly seven years later, and after a consultation where 58pc of respondents supported regulation, a policy still hasn't been implemented as 'detailed legal advice' still needs to be sought.

Paul Kendrick. Photo: Dan Grimmer

Paul Kendrick. Photo: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

At a meeting last week Green party councillor Lesley Grahame asked what would be done to make sure SEVs were regulated as soon as possible.


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Paul Kendrick, cabinet member with responsibility for licencing , admitted there had been some delays in the implementation but said: 'It is important that the correct procedures are followed and obtaining detailed legal advice is necessary to ensure this.

'Arrangements are in place for NpLAW, the council's legal services provider, to provide the final legal advice required for the implementation of the SEV licensing regime.'

Sex entertainment venue policy timeline. Photo: Archant Graphics Unit

Sex entertainment venue policy timeline. Photo: Archant Graphics Unit - Credit: Archant

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It comes as plans have been submitted to open a new lap dancing club on Prince of Wales Road.

Documents show Henacraft Ltd, which owns Bar 52, would like to convert the nighttime spot into a lap dancing club, prompting anger from local councillors. But even if the planning application is approved, the venue will still need to apply for a licence.

In a statement Cllr Kendrick, said: 'The three venues in Norwich licensed to provide sexual entertainment are currently regulated under the 2003 Licensing Act, with specific conditions relating to the nature of the entertainment they offer.

'Since the sex establishment policy was adopted, we have been seeking legal advice and consulting the affected businesses, who will be invited to make applications under the policy next year.

'We continue to work closely with Norfolk Constabulary and the venues themselves to make sure they are complying with all relevant legislation.'

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