A Hastings lap-dancing club is set to defend the renewal of its licence following objections from residents.
At a virtual meeting to be held on Thursday (May 28), Hastings borough councillors are set to consider an application to renew a sexual entertainment venue licence held by Club XS in Prospect Place.
The licences for such premises are issued annually, with any objections to its renewal triggering a hearing of the council’s environment and safety committee.
After advertising the renewal the council received three objections, all of which argue their representations are not based on moral grounds, but over concerns that the club’s location is unacceptable and is “hindering regeneration” of the wider area.
In one letter, an objector said:
“The vast majority of the immediate area surrounding Club XS is made up of premises which make the character of the area unsuitable for a sex establishment.
“Ninety-nine of the 135 buildings within 100m are either residential or partly residential (apartments above shops say).
“A further five premises are community buildings, places of worship, cultural facilities or places used by vulnerable persons.
“Since Club XS was first granted its licence Rock House was redeveloped.
“This has brought further residential and community facilities to the area.
“Since [its] last licence was granted in February 2019, the Observer Building began its transformation into a new, vibrant cultural hub.
“The case for rejecting the licence application has therefore become stronger since the first application was approved and continues to become stronger still.”
All three objectors put forward similar arguments, with two of the letters using the same formatted objection.
Council officers, however, have offered a contrary view.
In a report to be considered by the committee, a council officer said:
“The licensing manager has made enquiries with Rock House owners (who are also developing the old Observer Building).
“They have confirmed that they have no concerns over the existence of Club XS in Prospect Place.
“In addition, enquiries have been made with Sussex Police and Hastings Borough Council’s planning department, neither have any objections to the existence of the club.
“No indication has been received that the presence of the premises has hindered development of the area.”
The report goes on to state that neither the council or Sussex Police had received any complaints about the operation of the club’s licence since it was first issued in 2010.
The report also confirms that the club’s manager director Peter Eldridge is expected to address the committee at the hearing.
A decision is set to be made by the committee after the hearing on Thursday (May, 28).
(By Huw Oxburgh – Local Democracy Reporter)
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