Packaging litter from products sold by a sex shop have been cited in a trivial objection to a sex shop licence renewal.
Pulse and Cocktails in Sawtry off the A1(M) is seeking to renew its sex shop licence, to put up a new sign and to be allowed to
operate with a single member of staff instead of two at certain times.
But Huntingdonshire District Council's Licensing group, which will consider the applications on Wednesday, will hear that there have been just two letters from Sawtry residents
and that the police had made no submissions.
A second resident said he had objected to the shop's licence twice before and although opposition had dwindled considerably , it was as a result of disillusionment with the democratic process,
rather than acceptance of the shop.
Pulse & Cocktails in Toll Bar Way, Sawtry, has been granted a sex shop licence renewal by Huntingdonshire District Council.
The shop has been subject to ongoing nutter opposition and a council spokeswoman for the council said:
We are well aware that there is considerable public feeling about this establishment. In reaching our decision today we have had to have at all times regard to the relevant legislation concerning the licensing of sex shops.
On balance and having heard all of the evidence today we are content that these premises have been well run for the previous year, no harm to any individual has been evidenced before us.
The shop also saw its two
new horizontal advertising boards outside the premises approved, but a proposed six-metre high totem pole advert will not be allowed. Other issues about fencing, staff dining and CRB vetting were also resolved.
However the local residents appear
to have been well wound up. Keith Walters, a former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council who lives in the village, has quit the Tories in a row over the opening of the shop.
Walters, who led opposition to the shop, said he had left the party
over the way in which the case had been handled. He said:
It was over the sex shop and the complete disregard for the feelings of local people.
I could name 10 people who were long-term
serious donors to the Conservative Party who are no longer that.
The director of Pulse and Cocktails sex shop in Sawtry, who was denied planning permission to put an advert on a totem pole, has vowed to contest the decision.
The shop had applied to replace its horizontal advert in front of the shop with a new
vertical one attached to an existing totem pole six metres above the ground. They also applied to erect two entrance signs at the front of the building, which were approved.
The application for the signage change received 18 objections from
residents. The vertical advert was rejected by planning officials from Huntingdonshire District Counci, claiming it was not in fitting with the area.
Andrew Moffat of Huntingdonshire District Council said:
impact on amenity arising from the proposed totem sign is, by virtue of the height, unnecessary proliferation of sigange. Visual intrusion upon the rural character of the area is considered unacceptable.
Pulse and Cocktails director
Graham Kidd believes the decision was made for moral rather than planning reasons and will appeal to the Secretary of State. He said:
The wording and size of the advert is identical to the one in situ, it would
just be vertical and placed higher. That would allow people to see the sign further down the road. The current signage is not good enough, people have said they struggled to find the shop and that is hurting our business.
A Christian group which claimed a sex shop could attract sexual offenders into the London Borough of Richmond has failed in its bid to stop the establishment renewing its licence.
Twickenham Christian Concern claimed unconvincingly that the
Private Shop, in Kew Road, Richmond, may be encouraging undesirable people to visit the residential area.
However, Richmond Council's licensing sub-committee said that it had no evidence this was true and it could not make its judgement based on
the group's moral objections.
Rosemary Jarvis, of Twickenham Christian Concern, seemed to doubt her own arguments saying:
It could well be undesirable people are coming to the shop which we perhaps prefer not to
have in our borough.
I could show you pictures from the papers of people who police have arrested because they've committed certain sexual crimes.
I know you can't necessarily prove that because there's a
sex shop in the vicinity that person has been into the sex shop and therefore committed that crime, but people concerned about sexual crime feel vulnerable when there's a sex shop or anything of that nature.
Councillor Brian Miller,
of the licensing sub-committee, said no neighbours of the Private Shop or the police had complained about it since the authority first granted it a licence in 2005. The committee granted the Private Shop's application to renew its licence because it said
it had no grounds to refuse.
New shop has been licensed with the condition that it is not called the Sawtry Sex Shop
The new Sawtry sex shop has been some time in preparation but is now set to open on Friday 2nd September 2011.
It will be called Pulse and Cocktails and is part a major chain of 20+ sex shops.
The location is more to do with longer distance
drivers on the A1 taking a break, rather than for the local villagers. But the villagers weren't impressed with having a sex shop nearby and mounted quite an opposition to the store. Presumably as a sop to them, the licence was granted with the condition
that the shop name wasn't associated with Sawtry.
There will be a 20% discount for Sawtry residents for two weeks after eopening.
No doubt the 1000+ locals who signed a petition against the sex shop will be miffed, but no doubt Pulse
& Cocktails will follow in the steps of hundreds of other shops that cause nobody any problems whatsoever.
Presumably the store is aiming for an opening in March 2011.
1,130 Sawtry villagers have signed a petition opposing plans for a sex shop. Campaigners handed the petition to Huntingdonshire District Council.
The company Cocktails has submitted a proposal to open the shop in a former Little Chef
restaurant beside the A1 at Sawtry, near Huntingdon.
If the shop – to be called Pulse and Cocktails – wins its licence it will become the first sex shop in Huntingdonshire.
The petition says the application is entirely unsuitable in a
family-focused village on a site which is on a popular leisure route . Keith Walters, former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, who chairs the No Sawtry Sex Shop pressure group, added: The most important grounds to object on are that it is
at variance with the character of the locality. We don't object to sex shops per se ...BUT... think this is the wrong place to put one.
Cocktails Ltd has applied for a sex establishment licence to open a new sex shop at the former Little Chef, off the A1(M) Great North Road, in Sawtry, near Peterborough.
The company submitted the application to Huntingdonshire District Council
on July 27.
The former restaurant has been closed for a number of years, leaving the site derelict.
District councillor for the village Dick Tuplin said he would like the site to once again become a motorway service area. He said: The
service station has disappeared altogether. The slip road goes right through where that used to be. It's an eyesore, so I would like to see the site developed. No-one would want to open a hotel near a sex shop.
Huntingdonshire District Council
is inviting public views on Cocktails Ltd's plans.
Opponents of the redevelopment of a former Little Chef restaurant beside the A1 at Sawtry claim that a village location is the wrong place for a
sex shop and the kind of people it may attract.
If the bid by Rotherham-based Cocktails, which has a chain of 23 Pulse and Cocktails sex shops, gets the go-ahead, it would become the first licensed sex shop in Huntingdonshire.
Walters, former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, who lives in Sawtry, said: I don't want this nice rural village turned into a Las Vegas strip. It is not the Golden Mile at Blackpool or Soho. I can't speak for all 6,000 people here, but I
haven't found anyone who wants it.
He said residents were already writing objections to the plan and that he had written to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, about it and would take the case up with MPs.
Walters said: I think the whole tone of it is wrong and local people will not want to say you go up the A1 and turn left at the sex shop to get to my house.
Parish councillor Joyce Day, who chairs the planning committee, said: I
don't think a village is the right place for this sort of thing. It could bring undesirables into the village, although I can't say it would. Cllr Day said there were limited objections to a licence application.
North-West Cambridgeshire MP
Shailesh Vara said: I am against the proposed sex shop and have made my views clear to Cllr Ian Bates, the leader of Huntingdonshire District Council and Cllr Doug Dew, cabinet member in charge of planning. It is not the right place for that kind of
shop and I hope the council will listen to the many local protests which are being made.
The period for residents to comment on the plan has been extended to September 8, after the council was unhappy with the way the application notice at the
site was displayed.
More than 40 members of the public turned up to a special meeting at Huntingdoneshire District Council
to find out more about the licence application.
Afterwards Councillor Dick Tuplin said it was now planned to hold a public meeting, likely to be August 25, although time and location have yet to be agreed, to allow as many villagers as possible
the chance to have their say.
Director of Pulse & Cocktails Clair Boothby said target customers were couples and the stores were designed with a female friendly atmosphere. She said: We require a licence at all of our stores to enable us to
stock and sell a good range and variety of marital aids and lingerie to our customers. The premises in Cambridgeshire are located adjacent to the A1(M) motorway and not actually in the village of Sawtry itself.
The premises have been
derelict for a number of years and our intentions are to invest in the refurbishment of the premises to improve its general appearance and transform it into a modern, retail outlet.
Around 200 people attended a meeting opposing a sex shop being opened in Sawtry.
three-part motion of action was unanimously voted through demanding:
Huntingdonshire District Council's licensing panel refuse the application because it would be inappropriate for the character of the localit
That Sawtry Parish Council meet to establish its views on the application and send those to
the district council before the September 8 deadline for comments
Huntingdonshire District Council establishes a policy on sex establishments in the district before hearing the application
The meeting was chaired by ward councillor Darren Tysoe who read out his objection letter to the licensing panel, which stated: This is a sex shop on the entrance to the village. It will cast a shadow over Sawtry as a great place to live.
Keth Walters made the opening address, saying he lived in a village: Which is not deemed big enough to support a bank or a building society, nor a butcher or a baker or a candlestick-maker for that matter, but apparently can support a sex shop.
He said Rotherham-based Cocktails Ltd, which operates 23 sex shops, was looking for £200,000 a year turnover – and that's not possible from a village this size . He said the operators were far from being an Ann Summers shop as the
company website stated it sold films which were too explicit to sell on the internet and could only be sold in a shop like this . The only two reasons HDC could give for refusal which would mean the decision could not be appealed against, he said,
were: Having a sex shop was against that council's policy or it was inappropriate in regard of the character of the locality.
Resident Pauline Potter reported on her visit to a Cocktails Ltd establishment on the A1 near Grantham, saying it
catered for extreme sexual tastes and was screening pornographic movies.
Graham Smith said the opening of a sex shop would affect house prices and the desirability of the village.
A bid to expand an adult material import and distribution business to a sex shop in an industrial unit on the edge of a Norfolk village has been refused.
Chris Bottrell, of East Harling, hoped to open a shop called Lush XXX to sell sex
products to personal visitors and by internet sales and mail order.
But while Breckland Council's general purposes committee agreed to grant a sex establishment licence from 9.30am to 9.30pm, the council's development control committee on Monday
refused to approve a change of planning permission.
Villagers who spoke against the proposal included the Reverend nutter Nigel Kinsella. Such is the nature of small villages no one from it will visit the shop because everyone else will find
out , he said.
Another resident said opening the shop would bring unsavoury people into the village, the sort we want to keep out.
Bottrell produced a petition signed by more than 120 villagers who all wanted the sex shop to
Councillors were supposedly concerned the late opening hours would disturb villagers but Bottrell explained some things legally cannot be sold wholesale over the internet and instead must be sold personally.
Nigel Wilkin, a member
of the development control committee, said that despite the proposal being recommended for planning permission, the council refuse it on the grounds there was not enough adequate parking and access for customers' vehicles and the council did not want to
set the precedent for the rest of the units on the industrial estate to turn to retail.
Eight councillors voted for a ban and four against, so planning permission was refused.
Permission to Try Again
22nd April 2008
An importer and distributor of adult products has made a new bid for a sex shop on the edge of a village.
Bottrell, who runs his Lush XXX business at the Cloverfield Industrial Estate in East Harling, wants to change the use of the first floor of his premises to become a shop.