A LAP dancing club has been granted a licence despite claims it will make the city centre more “seedy”.
Krystals, on Cheapside, is the first club in the city to have been licensed as a Sexual Entertainment Venue under new policy adopted by Wakefield Council last year.
The legislation gives the council more control over the number and location of lap dancing clubs.
Krystals, which opened its doors in August last year, had to apply for a new licence by April 1, so that it could continue trading for the next 12 months.
Coun Olivia Rowley said lap dancing was demeaning to women and that the club would not help the city develop in the right way.
She said: “A lot of older people think the city centre becomes seedy at night, and this club just contributes to that.”
Mary Creagh MP said: “I’m disappointed the council has chosen not to use its powers to keep the sex industry out of our communities.
“The council is working hard to regenerate the city, attracting investment and promoting tourism, so the decision to licence a sex establishment a stone’s throw from Westgate is unfortunate.”
Claire Brown, director of Krystals Group, told a council licensing committee on Wednesday that the club had operated without one incident of trouble since it opened.
She said: “We strongly dispute that there is any evidence to prove that these objections are valid.
“Krystals does not open until 9pm, when local retaillers have closed and the streets are devoid of families and children.
“We are a respectable business working closely with the police and are mindful of the strict conditions that go with running a venue. There are many undesirable things in this world that are not controllable – but this establishment is controllable.”
Mrs Brown said extra CCTV had been installed at the club, which attracts up to 50 visitors on Fridays and Saturdays.
The licence came at a cost of £2,934 to Krystals, which run two other lap dancing clubs in other areas of the country.
The council can refuse Sexual Entertainment Venue licences for being close to residential areas, schools and historic buildings.
Conditions, including the banning of external advertising of the premises and scantily clad people from being near the doorway, are also imposed.