Lap dancing club plans for Doncaster town centre have been rejected following serious concerns about the possible effect on the sensitive work carried out at a neighbouring women’s centre.
Enterprise Inns had applied to change the Loaded pub at 54 Printing Office Street into a strip joint but Doncaster Council members agreed the site was “wholly inappropriate”.
The move was backed by South Yorkshire Police’s superintendent Peter Norman and Director of Public Health Dr Tony Baxter who both said the venue would have a detrimental impact on the women’s centre service and alter the perception of vulnerable women, significantly harming the service the centre provides.
Doncaster Women’s Centre on Cleveland Street provides support for vulnerable disadvantaged women.
They may be experiencing violence and/or abuse, homelessness, poverty, drug misuse, mental health difficulties, learning disabilities, isolation, loneliness and unemployment.
Speaking at Tuesday’s plannning committee, ward member Coun John McHale said: “It is inappropriate given its close proximity to the women’s centre and the sensitivity of the work carried out there, it would further damage the most vulnerable women of society.”
Coun Jonathan Wood asked if there was not a more suitable location for this, adding: “It does not contribute to building a positive image for Doncaster and its future.”
Coun Susan Bolton said: “Doncaster does have a high rate of incidences of abuse to women and young people. The centre is a refuge. We are also regenerating this area and I think it is wholly inappropriate to have a lap dancing establishment between 11am and 4pm in this area.”
Coun Mick Jameson moved to refuse the plans, adding: “It will have a negative and detrimental impact on the local area.”
Beverley Georgiou, who runs the Four Season cafe next door to the proposed site, welcomed the news: “Business people, the people in charge and representatives of the people should be continuously striving to make this town a better place to live for the majority of the people and granting this club would have been a step in the wrong direction.
“It would have only gratified a very small minority.”
She thanked councillor Joe Blackham and John McHale for their help in fighting against this scheme.
No reaction was received from Doncaster Women’s Centre.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inn said: “Further to the refusal of our planning application for the Loaded Late Bar, we would like to reassure patrons and local residents that business continues as usual and that we will be appealing the decision. We believe the Loaded Late Bar is a fantastic site and we will continue to review our options for making the most of this popular late night venue.”