'A victory for local democracy' - MP welcomes withdrawal of Sheffield strip club application

The proposed site for a strip club could still become a bar under the same owners
The proposed site for a strip club could still become a bar under the same owners
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A Sheffield MP who opposed plans for a city centre strip club has called the campaign against it a 'victory for local' democracy'.

A Sheffield MP who opposed plans for a city centre strip club has called the campaign against it a 'victory for local' democracy'.

Villa Mercedes withdrew its application for a sexual entertainment venue license on Suffolk Road after the club's would-be manager, Andreas Baskoutas, came under sustained pressure from objectors during a meeting at Sheffield Town Hall.

But The Star understands the premises could still open as a bar under the same ownership as a meeting is scheduled next week to consider whether to grant the building an alcohol license.

After the meeting to consider the sexual entertain venue license resumed after lunch, the applicant's solicitor Paddy Whur told councillors on the licensing committee that his client would be withdrawing the application after 'listening carefully' to the fierce opposition.

The strip club was set to be in close proximity to schools, colleges and places who support vulnerable children and adults.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, who has opposed these plans in his constituency said the club was 'not wanted' in the city and praised the organisations that campaigned against it.

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He said: “I'm pleased that Villa Mercedes have recognised that they are not wanted in Sheffield. I strongly backed the huge range of local organisations that overwhelmingly opposed a new strip club in the heart of the city. This is a victory for local democracy.”

Douglas Johnson, councillor for City ward, who attended the meeting to object, also welcomed the strip club plan withdrawal.

He said: “Many of the 180 objectors turned up at the licensing meeting and explained exactly how residents and local businesses would be affected by a lap dancing club opening near the Leadmill.

"The weight of evidence of the human and financial costs were overwhelming and we are obviously pleased with the outcome."

In a meeting which lasted around three hours, the club came under fire after their website was shown to the offer punters 'tailor made packages' for when their 'girlfriend is on their period' and to celebrate the 'death of a mother-in-law'.

The planned strip club will now not happen but a fully functioning bar could still open under the same applicant.

Despite withdrawing, the sexual entertainment venue license, another hearing is scheduled to take place next Thursday, whether to grant the building permission to sell alcohol.

The Star understands Mr Baskoutas is considering whether or not to proceed with the alcohol license now the SEV bid has been withdrawn.