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Fetish club is one step closer to opening in Dudley

Dudley | News | Published:

A proposed new fetish club is one step closer to opening after being granted a licence to operate by council chiefs.

The boss of the Valhalla Club, who wants to open in Dudley, will now appeal a decision by Dudley Council not to give his venture planning permission.

And he has declared 'discretion is the order of the day' from its members following concerns about their activities.

Among the groups which would use the Valhalla Club in Dock Lane, opposite Dudley Leisure Centre, are erotic and fetish enthusiasts with events including dungeon and role-play.

And Clive Thomson said today: "With the best will in the world we are not the sort of people to parade onto the road in masks and hats. I think people have seen too many Hollywood films.

"Discretion is the order of the day. We would never have signs outside as we would only get idiots coming."

On Tuesday (JAN 13) a separate committee granted the venue a licence to sell alcohol and for the airing of live and recorded music.

Council leaders had received a petition signed by more than 70 people raising concerns about the proposed licence, but none attended to speak.

At the meeting, Mr Thomson said the club would be a place where vulnerable people can feel safe and not threatened.

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"We are very, very discrete people," he said.

"This is not a nightclub, it is not a lap dancing club, it is just a social club. It is just sensationalism and things have been blown out of proportion.

"We have got members who work for councils, we have nurses, we have doctors. These are not people who are going to go drunkenly staggering around the streets."

In December planning committee chairman, Councillor Qadar Zada, raised concerns about the type of activity which would take place at the club.

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But bosses at Valhalla have repeatedly insisted there would be no sexual acts carried out at the site.

The licensing committee heard the venue would be blocked from the public's view and would have no external signs.

Mr Thomson said a fetish society was just one of the groups which would use the site with others including wheel-chair users, dancers and an opera singer.

Summing-up the committee decision, chair councillor Jackie Cowell, said: "We are satisfied the premises will be run discreetly. We have heard there will be no external signs and those internally will encourage visitors to respect local residents when they leave."

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