College adds voice against Shrewsbury lap dance bid

Shrewsbury Sixth Form College has joined a growing list of more than 40 objectors to controversial plans for a weekly lap dancing night at a town nightclub.

College adds voice against Shrewsbury lap dance bid

And ahead of a crunch vote on the plans for Source Vodka Bar in Barker Street next Wednesday, parents from the nearby college have raised fears it could lead to a rise in sexual assaults.

Opponents also claim the licence to use the venue as a 'sex encounter establishment' would 'lower the standards and character' of Shrewsbury.

A total of 41 objections have been sent to Shropshire Council, including from Shrewsbury Town Council, town MP Daniel Kawczynski and the Shrewsbury Town Centre Residents' Association.

Rob Bywater, the owner of the nightclub, plans to host a Thursday lap dancing night, featuring a mixture of pole dancing in the club area and lap dancing in private booths. The venue is already allowed to hold lap dancing nights once a month, but due to public demand Mr Bywater said he had decided to apply for the 'sex encounter establishment' licence to hold weekly events.

But in a letter the governors of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College said they had a duty of care to ensure their 1,500 students were not encouraged to enter similar establishments through extensive advertising or direct touting.

They added: "We are also concerned that such a destination will lead to a change in the perception of Shrewsbury and in particular this part of town which could be harmful to our business.

"We are not seeking to act as censors, or to be the arbiters of citizens' tastes. The objection is not directed at the opening of the S.E.E, merely the unsuitable location."

A Shrewsbury resident, who has not been named, said: "As the mother of a teenage daughter at the Shrewsbury Sixth Form College I believe that the use of the bar for this purpose could attract unwanted visitors and could lead in turn to an increase in indecent assaults."

Another said: "Granting a licence to have a sex encounter establishment in Shrewsbury town will lower the standard and character of the town."

Mr Bywater said the idea had been trialled since last August and was 'very successful'.

Members of the Shropshire Council's Licensing and Safety Sub Committee will vote on the plans.

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