Plans for a new lap dancing club in Dundee have been rejected amid fears it would lead to an increase in “sexually-stimulated men” in an unsuitable area.
The plan, which would have seen Industry nightclub on the Seagate refurbished and reopened, was unanimously voted down yesterday by Dundee City Council’s licensing board.
The board ruled the location of the club was unsuitable despite claims from the applicant Blueholme Limited that adult entertainment clubs across Scotland exist in similar areas.
Among those to object was the Dundee Violence Against Women Partnership (DVAWP).
DVAWP’s Sophie Gwyther, said: “The venue being proposed is within a short distance of the area of Maryfield which is already affected by on-street prostitution.
“The potential for the area currently affected to spread to towards the Seagate area, or for women involved in prostitution in the existing area to be further exploited by increased numbers seeking them out, is significant.
“It could lead to a high number of sexually-stimulated men in the area.”
She added that activities such as lap dancing are forms of “commercial sexual exploitation, violence against women, and are a breach of women’s human rights”.
Businesses and residents also objected, saying the proximity of St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and a currently closed infant nursery showed such a club would be contrary to the character of the area.
Solicitor Archie MacIver, representing applicants Blueholme Limited and Andrew James Cox, said adult sexual entertainment is a “legitimate business”.
He said: “I would refute claims of possible increased crime and anti-social behaviour.
“There are clubs of this nature all over Scotland. I have yet to see any information brought forward about there being any impact on crime in those areas.
“The area is already full of bars, cafes and clubs. We acknowledge there is a church nearby and objections about this are perfectly valid. However, we would not be open at all during the day.”
Mr MacIver added Kirkcaldy’s new Sin Strip Club is similarly close to a church but this did not prevent the business from being granted a licence.
The board’s convener Stewart Hunter said: “What I’m going to do is recommend refusal of this application on the basis of the location.
“I appreciate that as the applicant has stated, there are other premises located in similar areas in Scotland but we have to use our local knowledge.”
Following the decision, when approached, Mr Cox made no comment.