A LAP dancing club in Maidenhead town centre made its case to councillors for its sexual entertainment venue (SEV) license to be renewed.
Representatives of the Honeypot Gentlemen’s Club, on Queen Street and has been operating for 10 years, pleaded with members on the licensing sub-committee on Wednesday, April 7, for their license to be renewed.
The venue’s SEV license is usually granted on an annual basis, but a flurry of objectors triggered a hearing where councillors will adjourn and decide whether or not to approve their application or impose conditions.
Speaking on behalf of residents who live opposite the Honeypot, Bijou Dunn objected to the application, arguing the locality is and will change due to the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre and the club will no longer fit with the new environment.
She also said members shouldn’t approve this application due to its close proximity to a church and residential areas.
Representing the applicant, Sarah Taylor argued the Honeypot has been established for 21 years in the designated entertainment zone and has co-existed with the church and the flats without hearing any complaints or objections.
As the license is renewed on a yearly basis, this is the first time objections have been lodged to their application.
On the regeneration of the town centre, Ms Taylor said councillors should consider the evidence now rather than what may happen in the future as the regeneration will take years to complete.
She said: “This is a large-scale development that is likely to take many, many years and we’ve got to look at the facts of locality now.
“In our mind, there are no changes which would signify there has been a change in circumstances or locality.”
Ms Dunn countered that point, saying although the whole redevelopment of the town centre won’t be completed this or next year, that doesn’t mean new bars, restaurants, and homes won’t be built within that time span.
The owner of the lap dancing club, John Sennett, said he was “slightly baffled” by the objections as they and the area hasn’t changed in the last 12 months due to them and other businesses being closed because of Covid-19.
He added for the last 10 years, they had no problems with police and with the nearby church as the Honeypot closes on Sundays, therefore not interfering with their services.
Thames Valley Police gave no objections to the application.
Objections were made that the Honeypot is giving the wrong message on “moral and healthy relationships” to young people, but Ms Taylor argued this is a moral judgment and should not be considered in members decision-making.
Councillors will make their decision within five working days.