Entrepreneur Tony Ibrahim has bought the Little Chef at Guyhirn and plans to turns it into Cambridgeshire'
s biggest sex shop.
Ibrahim has previous experience of running a sex shop since until two years ago he ran a small adult only shop at the rear of a service station at Thorney Toll.
To be honest we ran an adult shop for three years and never had one single problem, he told the Standard. We had more problems with people driving off without paying for their petrol, smashing canopies or breaking in at nights. The huff and puff over our adult shop at Thorney was one person in the village- who ended up being our best customer anyway!
He hopes to open within a month and the sex shop will cover both ground and first floors. The store will be known as Kiss Kiss.
However his purchase of the A47 site has prompted the resignation of a parish councillor who said he quit after failing to persuade fellow councillors to join his protest.
Paul Carpenter says he has had enough after a year serving as a member of Wisbech St Mary Parish Council.Fearing Guyhirn will be known as the sex capital of Fenland he has enlisted the help of an action group to stop the shop going ahead.
Ibrahim said Fenland Council'
s attitude to business was changing, and he applauded their support for local enterprise: Why shouldn'
t people spend their money on what they want locally.
Comments may be sent to Fenland District Council until 19th May.
Update: Protest Meeting
23rd May 2008
Around 90 irate nutters packed Guyhirn village hall to protest against plans to open the county's largest sex shop at the former Little Chef on the A47.
The meeting was chaired by local councillor Phil Wait and was attended by developer Tony Ibrahim.
Villagers are said to be 'hugely concerned' the enterprise will cause house prices to drop and will put off new people moving to Guyhirn. They also fear it will give the wrong impression of Fenland to drivers passing by on the A47. There are also
concerns the store's signage and external paintwork will be distracting to drivers and could lead to accidents.
Wait said there are now plans for a second meeting when it is hoped Fenland Council officers will attend to listen to the locals' viewpoint. He said those who attended were urged to put their opposition in writing to the district council before
Sex shop businessman Tony Ibrahim is calling for a town council clerk to resign amid claims the clerk, Erbie Murat, launched a personal attack on him in an email sent out from the council's computer.
Ibrahim says he is taking legal action against Wisbech Town Clerk Murat, claiming remarks made by him in the email were libellous.
Murat has furiously denied the email - sent out to various councillors and council officials, raising objections against plans by Ibrahim to open a sex shop at Guyhirn - was personal.
Ibrahim has approached Wisbech Mayor Jonathan Farmer, calling on him to take action against Murat. He believes Murat should be disciplined for using the council's email address to send out his letter of objection and would like to see him resign.
David Oliver, former Mayor and town council leader, said he had spoken to Murat and he had been reprimanded for using the council's computer. But he said: It is a personal email, it is not from Wisbech Town Council and it is not inferred
anywhere that is from Wisbech Town Council.
Update: The Letter
2nd June 2008
Murat included scathing comments about Mr Ibrahim's family, finances, ethnicity and children's schooling in his objection to the plans for the former Little Chef near the A47.
Shortly after receiving a copy of the offending letter - on official Wisbech Town Council headed paper - Mr Ibrahim's wife Sheniz passed a copy to police and her family lawyers.
However, in a fresh letter to Fenland District Council's licensing department, Murat said: I apologise to Mrs Ibrahim for any distress I may have caused her by my previous letter.
My understanding was that she was part of the application on the basis that she would benefit from the operation of the sex shop and, therefore, she should form part of the determination of whether the applicant is suitable to hold a licence. I
did, however, act precipitously and included material that I had not intended, and I again apologise to Mrs Ibrahim.
But the fact remains that she is supporting her husband's application for opening a sex shop in a location that puts children and young people, in my opinion, seriously at risk and certainly at much greater risk that they now endure.
Plans to open the county's largest sex shop in Guyhirn have been given the go-ahead by Fenland Council's licensing committee.
Dozens of nutters packed Fenland's council chamber for the hearing on Tony Ibrahim's application for a sex establishment licence at the former Little Chef restaurant on the A47.
Objectors claimed the sex shop would lower the tone of the area and give the wrong impression of Fenland to visitors.
Guyhirn villager Marilyn Hyde proffered the worthless argument that she would be unable to sell her home if the sex shop got the go-ahead: If the application is agreed my house is worthless. Who will want to buy it?
Justine Sands, headteacher of Guyhirn school, scraped the barrel and said the site was undesirable for such a venture and explained children have to look at their local environment as part of the National Curriculum - the sex shop would be part
of their environment. She also pointed out the premises were close to a bus stop used by children, who would be able to see the shop.
Solicitor Steve MacGregor, who represented Ibrahim, said his client had chosen to apply for a licence, but could have opened an unlicensed premises and the council would have had no control over the business.
The panel took around an hour to make a decision and agreed to grant the licence for 12 months subject conditions, which included having control over the colour used to paint out the windows.
Ibrahim said We are virtually ready to open, all we need to do is fit some shelves and racking and order the stock. I want to make the shop more like a European-style shop where people are proud to walk in and look around with a trolley,
instead of being embarrassed.
Phil Wait, Fenland ward councillor for Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary, has resigned following the decision to grant a licence for the sex shop at Guyhirn.
Wait said in his resignation letter that he was still having difficulty accepting the decision of the licensing committee.
He is concerned about the location of the proposed business and feels it is in a prominent entrance to Fenland. Wait said he came on to the council to support the community and doesn't feel the right decision has been made. His letter said he
didn't want to be part of that team.
MP Malcolm Moss today urged planners to order the removal of the Kiss Kiss sex shop sign near Wisbech.
In a letter to Tim Pilsbury, the chief executive of Fenland District Council, Moss said: I write to express my incredulity that an enormous pink sign has been erected as close to the pavement as possible, advertising the wears of the sex shop
I can't think of anything more distracting than the pink sign from 'Kiss Kiss'. I would be grateful if I could have a statement on the conditions of signage that the Licensing Committee have imposed upon the proprietor of Kiss Kiss. I trust
that the owner will be told to take the sign down immediately.
Somewhat more modestly sized
than the petrol station next door
Tony Ibrahim said this week that he will refuse to remove the sign for his Kiss Kiss sex shop, despite being ordered by Fenland District Council to take it down.
The sign is on the A47 at Guyhirn to advertise the shop which Ibrahim hopes to make Britain's biggest sex store outside London.
A council spokesman said: We have written to inform Mr Ibrahim that the advertisements on the roadside outside his shop are in breach of licensing regulations and we want them removed. If he fails to remove them the council has the power to
We are also telling Mr Ibrahim that he needs to remove the adverts on the A47 as these breach planning regulations.
Ibrahim had previously been given approval for the sign, which has been standing for more than two weeks.
It was reported last week how Malcolm Moss, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, wrote to Tim Pilsbury, chief executive of Fenland District Council, requesting a statement of the conditions of Obrahim's signage imposed by the district council's
Moss claimed: I'm happy to have highlighted the problems caused by the sign. It is huge and disproportionate to the area and it can cause a distraction to motorists.
Ibrahim said: I have worked with the district council's licensing, planning and legal services department and everything had been approved . It appears that some legal technicalities have been brought up by Mr Moss. I can not go into
the details but my solicitor is dealing with them. I'm confident that everything will be resolved and I have no plans to take the sign down. The sign does not have any rude or offensive words on it. I'm just trying to advertise my business and
I'm not trying to offend anyone.
A sex shop in the Fens, that once had a spirited battle with local nutter opposition, has not stood the test of time.
Kiss Kiss Lingerie at Guyhirn near Wisbech closed last month and the premises are up for sale.
Four years ago nutter councillor Phil Wait resigned his seat on Fenland District Council following planning approval. Councillor Robert Scrimshaw then won the seat in a by election, arguing at the time that it was not for councils to make moral
They can only act within the law. I can fully appreciate the concerns local residents have about the Guyhirn adult shop but I also realise in today's economic climate encouragement should be given to a new business venture.