Could sex put you out of business? Proposed Manchester lap dancing club’s future to be decided by council

By Danielle Wainwright

Lap dancing lovers may be left disappointed today as Manchester Council will decide whether or not to refuse plans to build a new sex establishment on Portland Street.

Angry residents have expressed their disgust over plans to build Angels lap dancing club by Blackburn-based company Keelhall, and have banded together to submit a request for the council to reject the building.

Businesses in the area have also shown their disapproval for the plans, insisting that the club will turn the area into a seedy hotspot.

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell has also shown her support for the residents and said that she shares the concerns that have been raised about what another sex establishment will mean for the area.

“In terms of this proposal, it would involve residents living directly above the club and this does trouble me,” she told MM.

“I have written to Sir Howard Bernstein (Manchester City Council chief executive) on behalf of the residents to make sure that their worries will be taken seriously.

“One of the things which I am aware of is that some areas of the city centre are more residential than they used to be and are also occupied by more families and I think it is right to take that into account.

“I’m not a big fan of these sorts of clubs but more importantly than that we need to think about the effect on residents or long standing businesses like restaurants and hotels, who are worried that a concentration of sex establishments could lead to a deterioration of the perception of an area and eventually put them out of business.”

However Bolton lap dancer Becky* who has been in the industry for more than ten years has come out to support the building, insisting that the club will have no effect on nearby businesses or residents.

“The problem is people’s attitude to sex”, she said. “Just because there will be a couple of girls giving dances in private rooms should not influence the council’s decision to reject the plans.

“I can understand why residents may be a little upset but generally lap dancing clubs attract very little trouble and don’t give out much noise.

“It is sad that many think that lap dancing demoralises women when in reality it empowers them, lap dancers can make men cough up quite a lot of money just by shaking their hips.”

There has also been support for the building on Facebook, as many have described protestors against the plans as prudes.

One Salford user said: “It’s actually healthy to have a relaxed attitude about sex rather than it be covered up – that can lead to more problems.

“The clubs don’t have to be in your face and garish plus if you are not into the scene it’s quite easy to stay away from an area.

“Same with people that complain about content on TV, if you don’t like it turn it off.

“People seem to think they have to try to regulate everybody’s actions and what they see. Let people do what they enjoy as long as it’s in the confines of the law.”

* Name changed to protect identity

The licence application can be viewed here.

Picture courtesy of the justified sinner via flickr, with thanks

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