MP Stephen Gilbert: Lap-dancing bar goes against Newquay's family-friendly drive
Opposition to plans for a new strip club in a popular holiday resort has been bolstered by a Cornish MP.
Newquay Town Council's planning committee has rejected proposals for the top floor of the Beach Niteclub being turned into a "hostess and lap-dancing" club called The Attic.
Councillors voted against the application for a sexual entertainment venue licence on the grounds of "locality". The club was described as being "slap bang in the middle of the primary shopping area".
The final decision will be made by Cornwall Council. St Austell and Newquay MP Stephen Gilbert has now submitted his own letter of objection to the council, saying it would have "a devastating impact on the family tourist industry that is so vital to Newquay's economy".
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He added: "This area has been described by the police as a 'crime hotspot' and any additional licences have the potential to exacerbate this further.
"In the past, this area was dominated by the night-time economy but with the recent addition of the Lighthouse Cinema and a £2 million investment from JD Wetherspoons, on the site of a former lap dancing club, the area is rapidly changing and is attracting more visitors from the family tourist market.
"Newquay has in recent years tried hard to mend its reputation following many unsavoury incidents and a number of tragic deaths.
"I am pleased to say that Newquay's reputation is beginning to change and we are seeing a return to the family tourist market that our town was once famous for. But that chance is only possible because of the hard work of a huge number of businesses, community stakeholders and determined residents. Granting this licence would be a blow to that work and ambition."
Applicant Jane Hawkey, who runs the Beach, told councillors at their meeting last week that the town needed to embrace all types of business to flourish. She also said there should be no grounds to refuse her application based on location as the club is part of the "Golden Triangle" area of pubs, clubs and strip clubs.
However, councillors dismissed the argument, saying the area had "fundamentally changed" since the arrival of family Wetherspoon's pub The Cribbar, directly behind the proposed lap dancing club.
A decision will be made early in the New Year.