Legal action could force Sheffield strip club Spearmint Rhino out of city

Spearmint Rhino, in Sheffield
Spearmint Rhino, in Sheffield
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Spearmint Rhino could be kicked out of Sheffield after campaigners fighting for its closure were granted a judicial review.

The review, which could force the lapdance venue to close if successful, was brought by a Sheffield resident referred to as Irene, according to reports in a national newspaper.

Activists backing her case have now launched a CrownJustice crowdfunding campaign to cover the legal costs of bringing the action.

Last year, Sheffield City Council received almost 100 objections when Spearmint Rhino had to reapply for its licence to operate a sexual entertainments venue, including from Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield MP Louise Haigue, members of the campaign group Zero Option Sheffield, Meera Kulkarni from the Sheffield's Sexual Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, representatives from Site Gallery and Sheffield City Councillor Alison Teal.

The venue is up for its next licencing review in June, although it it is not known whether the judicial review will pre-date the hearing.

Speaking about the next review, Coun Teal said she would oppose the licence again.

She said: "It's inappropriate to have this so near to activities that incolve students, children and vulnerable women.

"The location is not right and I don't think people should have to face that on a daily basis."

Following the 2016 licencing review, the city council granted a new licence for one year and added a number of conditions to the company.

Spearmint Rhino is no longer allowed to leaflet around the city, and no signage advertising the venue may be exhibited outside of trading hours.

The venue must also participate in three-monthly inspections from council licensing officers at its Brown Street base.

However, employees jumped to the club's defence, praising Spearmint Rhino as an employer and saying there was never any trouble at the venue.

Sheffield City Council said they were aware of the judicial review but declined further comment. Spearmint Rhino have also been approached for comment.

The club will again be debated at Sheffield City Council's licensing sub committee on June 14.

Residents can write to the council to object to the venue until May 15.