Lapdancing restriction on the way

By staff

Local people came one step closer to being able to stop lapdancing clubs being set up in their area today, with government restrictions entering the implementation stage.

The consultation on the transitional arrangements for the new regime ended today. The Home Office expects the new rules to come into force on April 6th.

“If people don’t want to have a sleazy lap dancing club in their neighbourhood, they shouldn’t be forced to have one, which is why we’re changing the law so local people can object and say ‘we don’t want this’ in our area because it’s a sex establishment,” women’s minister Harriet Harman said this morning.

The new provisions will allow local communities to object to a new club on the basis that it is inappropriate for their local neighbourhood.
Previously the only basis upon which objections could take place were based on the Licensing Act 2003.

That only allowed four grounds for objections: prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Local authorities will be able to require all lapdancing venues, including existing ones, to apply for a sex establishment licence if they wish to continue operating lawfully.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: “Many people have told us they don’t want a lapdancing club in their neighbourhood and feel that the existing legislation does not adequately take account of their concerns.

“From April these important reforms will give local authorities the powers they need to respond to the concerns of local people regarding the number and location of lap dancing clubs in their area.”

Local authorities will also be able to impose a more substantive set of conditions before giving a licence and set a limit on the number of clubs they believe is suitable for a particular area.

Venues will be given one year from the start of the new regime to apply for a sex establishment licence.

The measures were part of the Policing and Crime Act 2009.