Shades Gentlemen's Club, in Leamington High Street, employs nearly 30 people and there have been no complaints from the police or direct neighbours about its activities since it opened three years ago.
But a licence committee refused the application supposedly because of the club's impact on the character of the surrounding area, in particular its close proximity to residential flats, places of worship and charities.
The committee also felt the presence of a sex entertainment venue in Old Town destroyed attempts to regenerate the area and decided it was not in the public interest.
Although objections on religious or moral grounds cannot be taken into account, licensing services manager David Davies told the Times: You can't say 'I object to striptease dancers because I don't agree with them', but licences can be refused
because of the venue's locality and proximity to schools, churches, homes and so on.
Bosses of Shades have 21 days to appeal the decision to the magistrates court, should they wish.
Shades nightclub in Leamington Old Town applied again to get permission for a sex establishment licence .
Last June the former lap-dancing venue was refused permission for the licence by Warwick District Council - citing bollox about the possible negative effect it could have on the area.
Under the Policing and Crime Act 2009, no business is allowed to re-apply for a licence within a year but a fortnight ago bosses of Shades did file a new application. A council licensing spokesman explained: They believe there to be a possible
loophole in so far as an individual can re-apply, rather than the business, and the council will have to decide if that is permitted.
Leamington mayor Alan Wilkinson, also a town councillor, told The Observer: I am disappointed another application has gone in. It would really bring the down the tone of an area we are trying to clear up.
But the venue has now been refused license for the second time. The council's regulatory committee cited the same bollox reasons, that it was somehow due to the negative effect the authority felt it would have on the area.
A council licensing spokesman spewed to the Observer: It has nothing to do with the nature of the sexual entertainment industry, or to do with how this club has been run, it is due to its location, which is felt that such activities are
inappropriate for. There is no right of appeal against this refusal.
Nutters in Leamington Old Town have been left 'stunned' by the council's decision to grant the Amara club a sexual entertainment licence seven nights a week.
50 letters of objection had been lodged by neighbouring residents. The licence allows adult entertainment such as lap-dancing between 11pm and 3am Sunday and Thursday and from 11pm until 4am Friday and Saturday.
The council said it had noted the premises was well run, entertainers would be subject to strict working conditions and customers would be required to obey a strict set of rules. The council also accepted the applicant's submission that there
would be little or no effect on businesses, schools and places of worship in the area due to their opening hours not coinciding with the proposed hours for Amara.
The council committee, summing up its decision, wrote:
No objection was received by any of the relevant statutory bodies, including Warwickshire Police or children's services. Furthermore, while we note the proximity of the premises to the residential properties in Tower Street, the committee did
not consider Tower Street would constitute a residential area.
Leamington mayor, coun Alan Wilkinson, told the Observer he was very very angry at the decision.
A Leamington old town nightclub twice refused a pole dancing licence has made a third attempt to reopen for adult entertainment.
Shades in High Street had its second application to operate as a sex entertainment venue turned down by Warwick District Council in March on the bollox grounds of its proximity to houses and Leamington's Hindu temple.
Ward councillor Alan Wilkinson (Lab, Leamington Brunswick) said he was surprised , adding: The reasons for it being rejected haven't changed, it is in a residential area. I hope the committee will support its previous decision.
Cllr Wilkinson is among Labour and Green Party nutters campaigning to cap the number of sexual entertainment venues in Warwick district, alongside the Rev Christopher Wilson, priest-in-charge at All Saints' church, Leamington.
In a somewhat surprising change of heart, the third licensing attempt has proven lucky for a Leamington nightclub's bid to provide regular lap dancing.
Warwick District Council's regulatory committee voted by five to four in favour of granting Shades Gentleman's Club in High Street, Old Town, a sex establishment licence which will allow lap dancing and pole dancing at the premises from 11pm to
3am from Tuesday to Thursday and until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The committee had heard representations from several objectors who had raised the usual bollox 'concerns' about the safety of residents including female students, its proximity to the Hindu Temple in High Street and the supposed detrimental
effect the club could have on the regeneration of the area.
Ian Besant, the solicitor representing applicants and owners Robert and Lisa Ransford, argued that the business had been run as a strip club for four years before new legislation came in and there had been no complaints or issues with the club.
He pointed out that neither Warwickshire Police or Environmental Health had raised any objections to the application.
Putting forward the proposal to grant the application, Councillor George Illingworth said there was no solid evidence the club would affect the area in the way objectors had suggested.
A condition of the licence will be for club logo to remove the female silhouette that forms the 'A' in SHADES.
Interestingly councillors at the meeting asked for their votes to be individually recorded. This gives a clue that perhaps councillors have realised that recent European legislation seems to have made it illegal to refuse licenses on some of the
trivial moral justifications that have councillors have used in the past. Perhaps councillors, aware of these laws, wanted to ensure that their vote for the licence was recorded, to ensure that they are not individually held to account, should a
failed licensee decide to sue the council.
Shades Gentleman's Club in Leamington Spa has narrowly secured its sexual entertainment licence at a meeting of Warwick District Council's Regulatory Committee. After a five-five split in the vote, with chairman George Illingworth's casting vote
favouring the High Street club.
The moralists were well miffed. Councillor Alan Wilkinson told The Observer:
I'm absolutely outraged. The decision - made by Tory councillors who do not even live in Leamington - totally disrespects the feelings people living in the area.
He went on to admit that area was a bit of a dump and is in need of regeneration:
People in south Leamington are working hard to regenerate the area and decisions like this certainly do not help them.
Green Party ward councillor Jonathan Chilvers also disparaged the locale. He revealed that it is an area where people don't feel safe, and don't live in good relationships with each other. He said:
Through the Mary Portas project and other regeneration we are trying to create a community where people feel safe, valued and live in good relationships with each other. The presence of a sex club on the doorstep of the ward, whether or not it
is clearly signed, whether or not there are any reported incidents, mitigates against these efforts.
The Hindu Religious Association, who have a temple nearby, hired a barrister to voice their opposition. Hopefully it was a very expensive investment.