Lap dancing club to re-open in city as new licence is awarded
PUBLISHED: 08:10 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:10 08 March 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
A decision to grant a former lap dancing club a new licence came as a result of the committee being a victim of its own procrastination, one of its members has claimed.
Lace on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich has been successful in a bid for a new sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licence which, once it re-opens, will make it the third in the area.
It comes with the city council in the midst of a consultation into changing its policy to place a cap on the number of SEVs at just two.
In December, members of the council’s licensing committee debated bringing in a cap which, going into the meeting, was proposed to be three.
However, on the understanding that Lace would not look to obtain a new licence, this proposed number was reduced to two.
Now though, as the consultation heads to its close, the cap could be set at lower than the existing number of licences held.
Green councillor David Raby said he felt the awkward situation could have been avoided.
He said: “I think the council has become a victim of its own procrastination. At the meeting in December, I suggested we adopt the policy there and then - rather than going out to consultation.
“Had we done that, we would have been able to take that policy into consideration when deciding this application.”
However, with the policy still being consulted on, it was unable to be taken into consideration.
Jack Ward, general manager of Lace, said: “I’m very happy we will be able to trade again. We are a venue that have been in business for the best part of a decade and we look forward to continuing that.”
The application was met with objections from Daz Crawford, owner of another of neighbouring venue Sugar and Spice, also on Prince of Wales Road.
He said: “I really question the point in even having a cap if they can be changed. I have heard of other cities that have set caps below the existing number and then closed venues when they were up for renewal, so I’m obviously concerned about my business.”
Norwich City Council is yet to finalise whether it will set a cap or not.