A sex club is being allowed to stay open in Newmarket High Street for another year despite objections from the town council.
Councillors had argued that lap dancing venue Heaven’s proximity to sites including a children’s play area, the town hall, historic buildings, and its central location in the ‘unique and historic home of horse racing’ was completely inappropriate and in conflict with the licensing authority’s own sex establishment policy.
But members of Forest Heath Council’s licensing committee found the club did not have a detrimental effect and granted its licence.
Speaking for the town council, which had unanimously opposed the re-licensing, Cllr Justin Wadham said that its main objection was the location. “It’s at the very centre of town,” he said, and told the committee that it ‘should not be in a high profile position’.
But Cllr Warwick Hirst, who had been against the licence in the past but abstained from the town council’s vote to object, spoke in favour of the application.
Pointing to a decision from the Global Association of International Sports Federations giving pole dancing a ‘clear pathway’ towards Olympic recognition, he told the committee: “If it’s good enough for the Olympics it’s good enough for Newmarket.”
Dean Adams, of Newmarket Entertainment Ltd which bought the business in February and leases the High Street premises where the club operates, told the committee: “We appreciate the location is not perfect, but it is in a good place to be managed by police.”
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Adams said he was pleased with the decision. “We know that it’s an issue that comes up every 12 months and the only opposition seems to be the location as opposed to the business itself,” he said. “We are aware of that and we are just obviously pleased that the council was behind us and granted us the renewal.”
“I can understand from the town council’s point of view the concerns they have but we don’t feel they are founded as far as the location is concerned. It is a discreet club, it’s not something that’s prominent when you come into the town.”