Seventy residents backed by a senior Sheffield councillor are trying to force the closure of a massage parlour established in a former bakery.
The Unit 8 venue, on Finchwell Close, Handsworth, has been trading since earlier this year – but the owner did not gain planning permission to change the use of the building. He has now asked for consent and his retrospective application is to be decided at a planning board meeting on Tuesday.
The residents, supported by Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council cabinet member for adult social care, complained the venue was ‘inappropriate’ and the building is ‘being used as a brothel’.
“The proposal would put women and children at risk and attract undesirable people to the area,” residents complained.
They also said they feared an increase in kerb crawlers.
But council officials are recommending the application is approved, saying the building is away from homes and would not operate late-on. Planning officers said they were not allowed to consider moral objections and that brothel claims were a matter for the police.
A spokesman for Unit 8 said police were happy with the development.
He said: “Our development rescued a burned-out shell of a building, which had apparently been used as a cannabis factory after the bakery closed.
“We are Sheffield’s first disabled-friendly massage parlour, with ramps and a step free access through the garage door.
“The building is in a very discreet location and there is no disturbance to nearby residents. We are on an industrial estate and not close to homes. We close at 8pm each night and 6pm on Sundays so there is no disturbance to the area.”