Residents and businesses will be asked to have a say on proposals to improve regulation of potential lap dancing clubs and sex shops in Stafford Borough.
Senior councillors will be discussing a report on a draft ‘Sex Establishment Policy’ for the area and will be asked to give the go ahead for the public to be consulted on the new policy.
The proposals aim to give councillors greater control over potential sex establishments, such as how they operate and where they can be located. And the policy would help thwart legal challenges and appeals if the council opposed applications for premises - for example lap dancing clubs, sex shops, and strip shows.
It would also mean applications for new venues must be heard by the borough council’s Licensing Sub-committee.
A report to the council’s cabinet on Thursday (8 June) states that the policy ‘gives the council and local people a greater say’ if applications were submitted to operate such establishments in their neighbourhood.
It adds that the policy would make sure venues could not open in unsuitable locations - and lists schools, places of worship, and children’s play facilities as places to be taken into consideration if an application was made.
If given the green light a six-week consultation would get underway from next week (14 June) with a final decision on the new policy expected to be made at a meeting of the council later this year.
Councillor Ian Fordham, Cabinet Member for Environment, said the policy would give more transparency in decision making to applications for sex establishments in the borough.
He said: “This policy would give the council and community more control if applicants want to open these types of premises - or vary an existing licence - and it provides us with a stronger position to resist any legal challenges to our decisions.
“If the report recommendation is agreed on Thursday, then I hope local people and businesses will take the opportunity of giving us their feedback on the new policy as part of the consultation.”
You can see the full report from Cabinet | Stafford Borough Council (staffordbc.gov.uk)
Press Release No 6036