Lap dance club plea rejected after demo

PRotesters who staged a city- centre demonstration over plans for a lap dancing club were celebrating last night after the scheme was thrown out by planners.
The lap dance club protest outside Sheffield Town HallThe lap dance club protest outside Sheffield Town Hall
The lap dance club protest outside Sheffield Town Hall

A large group gathered on the steps of Sheffield Town Hall yesterday lunchtime waving placards and chanting to voice their opposition to the scheme for a building on the city’s West Street.

Steelhouse, which is next to the City Hall tram stop, currently has permission to operate as a bar, but plans submitted to Sheffield Council requested permission for a change of use for adult entertainment.

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Speaking ahead of the decision, Ros Wollen, who led the protest outside the Town Hall, said she believed that all such establishments in the city centre, including an existing branch of Spearmint Rhino, should be closed.

She said: “We feel that venues like this objectify women and we don’t want a city centre where that happens and all the behaviour that goes with that is seen as acceptable.

“We want a city centre which has good music, good bars, good cafés and restaurants and which does not have somewhere where men can come and see women taking their clothes off.

“In this day and age, of sexual equality, we don’t think it is acceptable and we are glad that the planning officers agree with us.”

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Members of the committee refused the plans after being told by planners that the scheme would be “out of keeping and cause harm” to its “heart of the city” 
location on West Street.

Officers added: “It is considered that the proposal would not contribute to building a positive and attractive image.

“It is concluded that the proposed lap dancing venue would have a materially detrimental effect on schemes for continuing regeneration in the area and stimulating the vitality and viability of the city centre.”

Officers also said the hours of operation were too late and could disturb nearby residents.

Nobody from the architects firm behind the plans could be contacted for comment.