LAP-dancing club chiefs MUST secure a sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licence if they are to continue trading next year.
Bosses at the Black Cherry in Lowesmoor, Worcester, have applied for the licence so the club can continue to trade after Worcester City Council adopted new legislation which tightens up the rules on gentleman’s clubs. They will have to close as a lap-dancing club if they should fail.
The club, which features naked and topless female dancers, opened on March 28, trading with an alcohol and entertainment licence under the Licensing Act 2003.
A reporter from your Worcester News attended the opening night, when heavily made-up, scantily clad dancers flirted with customers before leading them into back booths for private dances while topless dancers gyrated suggestively on a pole.
The club features a purple and black colour scheme, ornate gold- framed mirrors, winged cherub ornaments and flame-simulators on either side of the stage.
When they opened, managers at the club found they were allowed to trade without the SEV licence after Worcester City Council failed to adopt the legislation when it had the opportunity.
However, this loophole has since closed after the city council resolved in November to adopt the relevant sections of the Policing and Crime Act 2009, which require that a sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licence be obtained for lap dancing clubs.
This came into force on January 1, and all existing operators have to apply for a licence before July 1.
Black Cherry made its application on May 30 and since then two notices have appeared on the club.
Applications for a licence have to be determined by the city council before January 1, 2015 and, if the application is refused, the Black Cherry would be forced to stop trading as a lap-dancing club.
A 28-day consultation period is underway, ending on June 27. The intended opening days/ hours of the club are Monday to Sunday, 9pm to 4.30am.
A spokesman for Worcester City Council said: “If the SEV licence application is unsuccessful, the club would have to close down by January 1, 2015.”
Any residents who wish to give their views on the application should do so in writing by July 15, either via email to email@example.com or by post to: WRS, PO Box 866, Worcester WR1 9DP.