AN MP is encouraging her constituents to speak out against a controversial lap dancing club.
Pat Glass, MP for Durham North West, is one of a number of objectors to an application by the Red Velvet club above a chip shop in Front Street, Consett, County Durham, to obtain a Sexual Establishment Venue Licence. Durham Police are also understood to be objecting, as well as a number of residents and church groups.
The deadline for objecting to the application was originally due to have expired last week, but has been extended by Durham County Council until Thursday of this week.
Mrs Glass is urging people to register their objections with the council.
She said: “This club was never wanted by local people and its activities are completely out of keeping with the local area. It is surrounded by three churches, and is close to homes, primary schools and Derwentside College.”
Permission for the venue was granted at a highly-charged four-hour meeting at the now redundant Civic Centre on Medomsley Road, Consett, five years ago.
Members of the alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee of the now defunct Derwentside District Council gave the go ahead, despite sharing moral sympathies, because it could not be refused on legal grounds.
Mrs Glass added: “At the time that the initial licence was granted local people, churches and organisations were very angry that they were not given the opportunity to object to the licence, but they have that opportunity now and can object to the renewal. I would encourage anyone or organisation who objects to this club and its activities to provide their objections to Durham County Council.
“If local people work together we can prevent the renewal of this licence.
“I understand the application is due to be heard on February 14 – my birthday – and I intend to travel from parliament if at all possible to speak against the application. If this place is shut it will be a wonderful birthday present.” Businessman Sonny Gill, of Gill Leisure, which runs Red Velvet, declined to comment on the matter.
Owen Cleugh, the council’s consumer protection manager, said the application would be discussed at a licensing committee meeting once the level of objections have been assessed – possibly on February 14 although that date has yet to be confirmed.
People who wish to express their view can email email@example.com or write to The Licensing Offices, Durham County Council, Damson Way, Dragonville Industrial Estate, Durham, DH1 2YN.