A BID to turn a disused garage on a Leeds industrial estate into a private swingers’ club has been approved by a council panel despite objections from locals.
As previously reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Isis Health Studios had submitted an application to Leeds City Council to convert a former car sales garage on Low Road in Hunslet into a “private adult members’ club” offering a “controlled” environment for “like-minded adults to meet and potentially engage in legal sexual activities”.
A planning panel meeting at Leeds Civic Hall has now approved a change-of-use application for the building - without a single comment or question.
The panel was told there would be no alcohol sold on the premises and no voyeuristic activity.
Activities would be limited to eight private rooms without windows, and no money would change hands for any sexual services.
Officers told the decision-making committee that “it is not our remit to consider the moral implications of what might take place on the premises”,
There were several letters of objection ahead of the hearing, and local Hunslet councillor Elizabeth Nash had submitted a statement saying “there is much hostility from local residents against this planning application”,
The headmaster of a local school, speaking before the panel, said he had a “duty to uphold and support a moral ethos” and “this establishment is at odds with that ethos”.
However applicant Joanne Winterhalder said she had successfully run a similar establishment in another Leeds location for more than a decade. The move was only forced because the current building cannot be adapted for wheelchair use.
She said the business had “always been a good neighbour” and had never had a single complaint.
“The club will not increase crime or anti-social behaviour,” she said. “This is because we do not serve alcohol. A key aim for the business is to be discreet”.
The panel approved the application with five votes for, and four abstentions.
The club will open six days a week and alternate Saturdays.