Lap dancing appeal splits town

PUBLISHED: 06:26 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 24 May 2010

LAP DANCING could soon become part of the nightlife in Burnham if Shakers wins its appeal to change its licence. In May the owners of the popular nightclub applied for permission to stay open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays and to have occasional lap d

LAP DANCING could soon become part of the nightlife in Burnham if Shakers wins its appeal to change its licence.In May the owners of the popular nightclub applied for permission to stay open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays and to have occasional lap dancing evenings.But the application was turned down by Sedgemoor District Council's licensing panel due to the impact the later opening hours would have on people living nearby.Shakers has now submitted an appeal to the licensing panel, which is due to be heard next month.The controversial plans have split the community. Some believe the new licence will draw more people into Burnham and add to the town's nightlife, while others fear the longer opening hours will mean more noise and drunken behaviour.The leader of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Cllr Peter Clayton, said: "I was in favour of turning down the application the first time and my views haven't changed. I thought the opening hours were far too long because of all the disturbances in the centre and there are residential properties so close to the venue itself."Some residents are concerned about the lap dancing and the effect it might have on the area as well."Cllr Arthur Thorogood, for the central and south ward, believes there could be noise issues but says the new form of entertainment would be good for the town.He said: "There are residents' properties yards from the club's back wall and they have complained about the noise already. If it's going to open later it will be even worse. "Providing the lap dancing is advertised discreetly I see nothing wrong with it, we are in the 21st century. Burnham is a bit of a backwater in that respect. It will be good for the young people but most of the older generation will be against it. But you are going to get complaints no matter what you do.

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