Plan for Hemel town centre strip club is blocked

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A strip club for Hemel Hempstead’s town centre has been blocked despite promises of discretion and a reduction in the proposed opening hours.

The owner of Luton lapdancing venue After 8 Club wants to bring adult entertainment to Marlowes.

But on Tuesday night councillors on Dacorum Borough Council’s licensing committee refused to grant a sex establishment licence for the business.

Councillor Graham Sutton said: “Town centres are suffering day on day, year on year and have been degraded by all sorts of unwelcome premises - fast food joints and gambling establishments. I do not think this is the sort of premises we want in Hemel Hempstead.”

The plan for the former Indy Jax nightclub, which closed last year, was met with four public objections - three from householders and one from the town’s MP Mike Penning.

Solicitor Nick Walton, who represented the applicant at the licensing hearing, said: “These premises are discreet in the way they are operated. They attract business people and generally older people and discretion is the name of the game.

“The premises are very rarely full and there are no queues of people waiting to get into them.”

The proposed opening hours of the venue had been reduced after discussion with police - closing at 4.30am on Fridays and Saturdays instead of 6am.

Mr Walton said: “It will not attract the younger people that spend £1.95 on a pint of beer. Alcohol will be considerably more expensive than that in these premises.”

The committee voted to refuse the application on the grounds that it would be inappropriate for the area.

A basement lapdancing club in the Old Town was given the green light by the committee last year but has yet to open.