FIFTY people have turned out to voice their anger at plans for a lap dancing club to open in Bath Road.
If approved the Voodoo Nightclub would be the first sex entertainment club to open in the town since the Blue Room closed.
Critics have slammed the plans, branding them ‘morally wrong’.
Objectors have concerns for women passing by the club late at night, and a pack mentality of stag groups attracted to the venue creating an intimidating environment.
So far, there have been 196 objections to the plans for the Diamond Gentleman’s Club.
Councillor Garth Barnes, who is chairman of the licensing committee, said he could not support the application.
He said: “I don’t think that a sex club in this part of Cheltenham is appropriate.
“We have had lots of issues over the years with race week when organisations from other towns and cities have been coming in to get sex trade workers working in the town.
“With an established sex club here, we could be facing more of those issues and problems.”
During the meeting, owners of the club Bath Road properties said there was a demand for the service in the town and had successfully applied for temporary licenses for that type of venue during race week.
Pole dance teacher Sian Young used to be a lap dancer and said some of the residents’ concerns are justified.
“I was lucky in a way,” she said.
“I was homeless for seven years so I had a street mentality and can look after myself.
“I did see things happening where bouncers had to get involved.
“There were things that I had to turn away from that I definitely did not want to get involved in.
“It doesn’t come with any blessings.”
The application is gender neutral and did not specify if the venue would have male or females working there.
Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has also spoken out against the proposal, voicing concerns about the effect on nearby residents.
He said: “The moral questions sadly are not ones that the council can take into account, but the public nuisance concerns and protecting children from harm can be considered.
“If people are uncomfortable with this kind of venue and they will have to avoid it, then it is a public nuisance. As I result I cannot support it.
“It should not be tolerated.
“We all put up with quite a lot of nuisance during race week, but that brings a huge benefit to the town for a short period of a time.
“A permanent venue would be quite different.”