Futures of two Leeds lapdancing clubs under review

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The futures of two Leeds lapdancing clubs are to be decided next week.

The licences for Liberte and Purple Door, both in York Place, are up for renewal and a panel of senior councillors will debate the renewed bids at a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on Tuesday, December 1.

Both venues have operated for several years and survived a previous cull of sexual entertainment venues by the council.

An application pack running to almost 200 pages will be presented to the licensing committee next week.

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The report prepared by council licensing officers asks the panel to sign off enhanced restrictions on blacked-out frontages and curtained off lobby area.

Leeds operates a maximum of four sexual entertainment venues at any one time.

In a high profile change of its regulations in 2013, the council put a cap on the numbers of lapdancing clubs it would allow at any one time. The city centre previously operated seven such venues.

While campaigners rejoiced, there was a backlash from businesses, some of which were forced to close virtually overnight and new applications were rejected.

Names like Deep Blue, Red Leopard and Wildcats all bit the dust but Liberte and Purple Door both survived the axe.

Two of the closed venues even attempted legal action, but the council successfully defended its decision to not renew their licences.

Rejecting the claims for judicial review, a High Court judge concluded that the authority had been entitled to review its policy and had acted fairly and rationally.

The council policy states that “the appropriate number of sexual entertainment venues in the city centre is a maximum of four, providing these premises are not near properties with sensitive uses or in sensitive locations”.

Areas designated as “sensitive” can include schools, residential neighbourhoods, women’s refuges, cinemas and places of worship.

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