Victory for Leeds lap dancing clubs in fight for licences

STREET PROTEST: Lap dancers protesting earlier this year.
STREET PROTEST: Lap dancers protesting earlier this year.
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Lap dancing clubs in Leeds have scored a victory in their fight for new licences following changes to the law.

The clubs are now classified as sexual entertainment venues and need a sex establishment licence to continue in business after October 1 this year.

The council received seven applications for licences and following a week of hearings the licensing sub-committee decided to grant all of them subject to some conditions.

Clubs given licences were Liberte, York Place; Deep Blue, Wellington Street; Purple Door, York Place; Red Leopard, The Headrow; Wildcats, The Headrow; Black Diamond, New Briggate and Silks in the Dark Arches. Hours of opening will be 10pm to 4am between Monday and Thursday and 10pm until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Objectors including councillors, MPs and religious leaders called on the committee to refuse all the applications and “set a nil limit for the future,” or significantly reduce the number allowed to operate in the city.

A report to the sub-committee said the council’s policy was not to set a limit or desired location for sex establishments but to treat each application on its own merits.

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Coun Suzi Armitage, sub-committee chairman, told the YEP that in hearing all the applications members had sought to be fair to the clubs while taking the objectors’ views into account.

Mr Paddy Whur, who represented five of the clubs making applications, said the decisions made were sensible and well thought out.