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Lap dancing clubs: your right to object

  • Published: Friday, 12 February 2010

Local people will be able to object to having a lap dancing club in their area if they feel it does not suit the neighbourhood, thanks to new licensing rules. The changes follow a consultation with local authorities in 2008.

Licensing change for lap dancing clubs

From 6 April 2010, local authorities will be able to require prospective lap dancing clubs in their area to apply for a sex establishment licence. They will also be able to require existing venues to get a sex establishment licence.

Currently, lap dancing clubs are not treated as sex establishments. This means the only valid objections local people can make to the setting up of a lap dancing club in their area are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • protection of children from harm

The change in the law means that from April 6, local people will be able to oppose an application for a lap dancing club on the grounds it does not fit their local neighbourhood.

Local authorities who adopt the new powers will be able to attach conditions to a licence. They can also limit the number of clubs they feel would be appropriate for a particular area.

New rules welcomed

The new rules were welcomed by Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality. She said: "If people don't want to have a sleazy lap dancing club in their neighbourhood, they shouldn't be forced to have one, which is why we're changing the law so local people can object and say 'we don't want this' in our area because it's a sex establishment."

Existing venues will have 12 months to comply, to be counted from the day the new provisions come into force locally.

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