The number of lap-dancing clubs in Cardiff will double from two to four, as plans were approved by councillors today.
A pair of sex entertainment businesses want to open new striptease parlours in St Mary Street and at Mill Lane in the city centre.
However, objectors claimed the venues would reinforce negative perceptions of the capital’s nightlife and discourage families from visiting the city.
For Your Eyes Only, which already offers topless dancing on Church Street, has applied for a sex establishment licence to open Blue Velvet at 32 St Mary Street, the old Croupiers Casino. Blue Velvet would open from 11am every day – and until 6am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Helical Bar, landlord of the Royal and Morgan arcades, has objected, arguing the venue would have a “detrimental effect on the character of the city centre”.
Mark Connell, representing Helical Bar, wrote: “Passing visitors, shoppers and residents will continue to have negative stereotypes of St Mary Street reinforced with the introduction of a further lap-dancing club to the area.”
The second strip club – called Sugar at Number 10s – would open in the former basement nightclub Number 10s below Italian restaurant Gios on Mill Lane.
Restaurateur Gio Malacrino confirmed he planned to transfer his licence for the underground venue to Fantasy Lounge, which already runs a strip club at 95 St Mary Street.
“I don’t have a problem at all with it, as long as it’s run professionally and with integrity,” Mr Malacrino said.
Fantasy Lounge managing director Ian Willison said the new club would be aimed at a “business-orientated top end” clientele.
Conservative councillor Lyn Hudson, however, said she was “disgusted” by prospect of more strip clubs in Cardiff.
“Although Cardiff is a big city, we don’t have to encourage places like these. It’s lowering our standards and I’m very disappointed,” she said.
Cathays’ councillor Simon Pickard added: “As long as they don’t add to the existing problems with alcohol consumption in St Mary Street, a variety should be encouraged.
“Ultimately they will only succeed if enough people go there and, in the case of a strip club, if people are prepared to work there too.”
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