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Licensing Victory in Oxford as Lap Dance Club loses licence application

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Christians in Oxford are celebrating after their local authority rejected a licence application for a “sexual entertainment venue” to operate yards from a church. Members of St Ebbe’s Church in Oxford as well as local residents have praised the Council for its decision.

The Revd Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe’s, said: “As a church, we campaigned against this licence application as we did not believe this sort of establishment should continue to have a base in the city centre of Oxford. Oxford has a large percentage of young women, and an establishment such as this could put those enjoying the culture and nightlife in Oxford at risk. 

“In addition, many children and young people use our church building each week and to have such a club in close proximity would not be appropriate. We are delighted the Council has made this decision – the first under the new rules – and it should put out a very clear message that this sort of premises is not welcome in our city centres.”

The Christian Legal Centre supported the Church’s challenge by providing legal assistance and advice.

Last year the church was unsuccessful in its appeal against the grant of a licence to the club. In April 2010 the law in relation to the licensing of sex venues changed, giving more powers to local authorities to monitor whether and where the venues could be established. Yesterday’s hearing was the first of its kind in Oxford since the law changed.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre said:

“When the law serves you well it is a great thing. We are so pleased that this licence has been refused and that this lap dancing club will not be able to operate in this location in the heart of Oxford. This decision will make a positive difference to the wellbeing of the local community.”