Lap dancing club can stay open despite claims it makes Manchester look ‘seedy’

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It comes after a local resident objected to the application.

A lap dancing club will be allowed to continue operating in the city centre despite claims it makes Manchester look ‘seedy’. Obsessions in Whitworth Street West has had its sex establishment licence renewed by the council.

It comes after a local resident objected to the application, claiming that the club’s proximity to Deansgate train station brings the city into ‘disrepute’. Representatives of the club dismissed the objection, arguing that it is based on ‘moral grounds’ which are not relevant to the local authority’s decision. In an email, the objector – whose name is redacted in papers published by the council – calls for the club to move elsewhere. They said: “I live in Deansgate ward and have frequently thought that the presence of the strip club Obsessions, on the doorstep of one of our big intercity stations, brings the area into disrepute. Its exterior is poorly maintained, hinting at the seedy activity that occurs within.

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“It seems very strange that visitors to our beautiful and culturally rich city centre, including international visitors and families with children, have to walk past the front door of such a repulsive establishment as they form their first impression of Manchester. I feel strongly that such a business should not be permitted such visibility, and that another location should be found for it.

“For these reasons, it is the duty of the council to take the opportunity of the licence expiring to rid Deansgate of this unsavoury enterprise.”

Speaking on behalf of the club at a town hall hearing on Monday (February 6), Heath Thomas said Obsessions has been licensed since 2006. He said that the character of the area has not changed during that time and argued that the objection is on ‘moral grounds’ which is not a reason to refuse the licence.

Mr Thomas told the licensing panel that the property is maintained and is not an ‘eyesore’ locally. He also said that the police recently inspected the premises and confirmed it is meeting all of the conditions of its licence.

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No other objections were received in response to the application to renew the club’s sex establishment licence. Mr Thomas said: “It is just this one email.”

Another lap dancing club in the city centre – Victoria’s in Dantzic Street – also had its licence renewed on Monday (February 6) with no objections received.

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