A legendary Leeds nightspot could be transformed into a huge lapdancing club

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Plans for a two-storey lapdancing club in the heart of Leeds - which campaigners say would be the city’s largest sexual entertainment venue - will come before decision-makers later this month.

Tokyo Industries has applied for a Sexual Entertainment Venue (SEV) licence for a club called Black Orchid, to be based in the former Townhouse building in Crown Street and Assembly Street, just yards from the Corn Exchange.



The Newcastle based company took over the club building just last year and revived the legendary 90s and noughties nightspot, which was a regular haunt for footballers and soap stars until the then owners called time nine years ago.

But now the firm has lodged an application with Leeds City Council to turn the building into a lapdancing club which would be spread across two floors.

The deadline for objections is next week, ahead of a Leeds City Council licensing hearing on February 14.

The YEP understands a petition against the application already has around 100 signatures.

Meanwhile a city centre businessman, himself a manager of gentlemen’s clubs, claims that if the scheme is given the green light, it flies in the face of the city’s recent hardline policy on SEVs.

Nicholas Quadrini, who owns The Purple Door, said he was forced to close one of his clubs when a new cap on numbers - along with strict guidance on location near historical and retail sites - came into force in 2013, at a cost of around £500,000 .

“This new club is bigger than all the three existing clubs together and will be extremely visible,” he said.

“This is not about trying to stop any competition, it’s about ensuring that the council stick to their own policies and ensure that venues like this are only placed in acceptable locations.”

As previously reported in the YEP, the number of lap dancing clubs in Leeds was slashed after licensing bosses ruled that several venues in “sensitive” locations should be axed.

Half of the city’s six strip venues had applications to renew their licences rejected, and new caps were imposed.

The new policy stated there should be a maximum of four SEVs in Leeds. The council said the decision was taken to refuse three licences “due to the number of buildings with sensitive uses nearby to the location of the premises”.

The YEP contacted Woods Whur, agents for Tokyo Industries, but no-one was available for comment.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “All applications are dealt with on their own merits and are considered in line with our existing policy. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”