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Unexpected reopening bid from lap dancing club could waylay City Hall venue cap proposal

PUBLISHED: 16:03 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 17 January 2019

Lace lap dancing club in Norwich, which could be set to re-open Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Lace lap dancing club in Norwich, which could be set to re-open Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

An unexpected bid to reopen from a lap dancing club could hamper councillors' desire to cap the number of venues in the city.

Lace lap dancing club on Prince of Wales Road has lodged a licensing bid with Norwich City Council, months after closing its doors.

It comes a month after city councillors agreed to include a cap on the number of sex entertainment venues in an upcoming policy redraft.

It was suggested that a limit of two venues in the Prince of Wales Road area is introduced, the current offering in that part of the city.

This figure was originally touted as three, but reduced to two on the understanding that Lace would not be seeking to renew its licence.

However, the club’s owners have now done just this, which was not anticipated at the time of the meeting.

A consultation into the proposed changes opened this week and will last eight weeks, after which the notion of a cap will be considered first by the licensing committee and then by full council.

A spokesman for City Hall said: “There is currently no agreed cap, but the draft sex establishment policy is out for public consultation.

“There is no guarantee that there will be any cap imposed within the final document adopted by the council.”

At the licensing committee meeting in December though, members expressed a preference for this cap to be included in the policy update.

It was said at the time, though, that it would not see applications automatically refused and that refusals could be appealed. It would, though, serve as a guideline to councillors deciding where to grant licences.

The spokesman added: “The renewal application will be a matter for the licensing committee. They will take into consideration the facts of the application, any representations or comments submitted, relevant policies and the advice of the council’s legal representative.”

The consultation, which opened on Wednesday, January 16, runs until Wednesday, March 13.

The city council has said it is too soon to say whether the application will be decided before or after the policy comes into force.

Lace is part of the same company that owns several other venues in the area, including Flaunt bar which is on the building’s ground floor.

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