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Plans to open 'alternative' adult club in Dudley blocked

Dudley | News | Published:

A leading councillor has told an adult club boss to take his plans 'elsewhere' after his attempt to open a venue catering for erotic and fetish enthusiasts was halted.

Plans to create the Valhalla club, in Dudley, were blocked by councillors to the dismay of its prospective owners who have invested £25,000 in the premises.

Prospective manager, Clive Thomson, today vowed to pursue his plans and appeal Dudley Council's planning committee's decision.

The club's website describes the proposal as an alternative lifestyle members club and photo shoot suite.

It adds it is the Midlands centre for all fetishists 'where the unusual is the norm in a safe and friendly environment'.

Bosses insist it would not be a swingers club and there would be no sexual acts at the site off Dock Lane, opposite Dudley Leisure Centre.

Mr Thomson said he was angry at the council's decision and feels the club has been misrepresented.

"The proposals here are for an alternative lifestyle, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender club," he said.

"I take this decision as an affront on the lesbian and gay communities.

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"This is not a lap dancing club or a private members gentlemen club. There won't be any poles. It is a normal bar like any other pub."

Dudley Council received a petition signed by 66 people raising concerns about the proposed club being close to the leisure centre, religious buildings and a primary school.

They added its proposed opening times could result in increased crime and noise from those leaving the club.

Leisure centre manager Meg Dowen said the club's members would use its car park but had no other objections.

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Planning committee chairman, Councillor Qadar Zada, said: "From a planning perspective it was rejected because of the impact on residential amenity.

"But for me this is the wrong activity in the wrong place.

"The potential harm outweighs any benefit. In fact I can't think of any benefit this proposal could have.

"The applicant described it as an 'alternative interest club' - well they can take their alternative interests elsewhere."

He added: "People like me would think twice about going to the leisure centre if the club was in place.

"We do not want people discouraged from using that facility - we want the leisure centre to thrive.

"There is also a good chance its users would share the leisure centre car park with people going there. That makes me feel really uncomfortable."

Mr Thomson said the club had its own provision for parking and he would be appealing the committee's decision.

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