Bid to ban new sex shops and lap dancing clubs from Bolton town centre
SEX shops and lap dancing clubs will not be allowed to opening in the town centre, if Bolton Council plans are approved.
Town hall chiefs are seeking new powers to control the number and location of any new sexual entertainment venues opening across the borough.
Under the plans the council could refuse any applications for new sex shops, pole dancing or lap dancing clubs in the town centre, near residents’ homes, parks, schools, religious buildings, historic buildings or shopping centres.
Cllr Nick Peel, executive member for environmental services, said the proposals were part of a legal requirement for the council to have a sex establishment policy. He added: “It’s obviously quite a touchy subject for people and I think the council has got to be mindful of the views of all of its residents.
“People can go to the internet to buy this type of material, and having blacked out windows on a high street isn’t really what we want in any town centre.
“It’s not about imposing a set of moral values, it’s protecting the living standards and concerns of the people of Bolton.”
There is currently one sex entertainment venue in the town centre — Diamonds — and two sex shops.
Barry Grundy, the owner of Diamonds lap dancing club, said he welcomed the proposals so long as his venue was not forced out of the town centre.
He added: “It suits us great — with the economic downturn there’s less business around, so we’re happy that no more should be allowed in.” But he added that he hoped the move was not the first step in a council bid to push all sex shops and clubs out of the town centre for good.
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He said: “If we had to move out of the town centre it would be a big blow for us.
“We’re an asset to the town centre.
“We fill a gap for a man who wants to go for a quiet drink in the town centre and not be surrounded by 18 years olds.
“Our customers tend to be older, so there’s never trouble.
“They just want to have a drink, chat with a girl and enjoy a chilled and relaxed atmosphere.”
Bolton residents can have their say on the proposed policy until December 4.
- To take part, visit the Bolton Council website or order a paper copy by calling 01204 331397.
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