Leeds lapdancing club undaunted by legal setback

Paul Gourlay owner of Wildcats  lapdancing club on the Headrow, Leeds.
Paul Gourlay owner of Wildcats lapdancing club on the Headrow, Leeds.
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LEEDS CITY Council has won the first round of its legal battle to restrict the number of lapdancing clubs in the city centre.

But Wildcats, one of three venues which had their licences revoked last year, is refusing to admit defeat and has launched a fresh challenge in the courts.

Owner Paul Gourlay said: “We are disappointed to hear that we have lost our judicial review of Leeds City Council’s decision to remove our license.

“We challenged the decision based on the council’s new policy, that was taken despite the club having no complaints, disturbance issues or any kind of problem in the 12 months from the licence being granted in 2012.”

The club’s new challenge will focus on the way the council drew up its policy on lapdancing clubs which banned them from “prominent areas” and limited the total number in the city to four.

Wildcats fell foul of the rules because of its location on the Headrow although the club has always protested there is nothing in its branding that reveals the nature of the business.

Mr Gourlay said the move had been “driven on moral grounds by a select few and this is firmly against the government’s legislation on this matter.”

He added: “It is our view that the vast majority of people couldn’t care what we do. We are a law abiding business, employing people and paying taxes,

“I continue to be at a loss to understand the council’s behaviour. We will fight on and hope that we can win our case and make the council see sense.”

Leeds City Council has consistently defended the new restrictions on lapdancing clubs which were agreed last July and came into force in September.

The rules were drawn up after the council consulted its “citizens panel” on the issue.

The panel’s verdict was the clubs should not be allowed in residential, deprived or rural areas, in prominent areas of the city or near places of “public importance, ceremony and recreation”.

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