A plan to bring a lapdancing bar to one of Dundee’s busiest streets has been met with strong objections from locals and other businesses.
As revealed in the Tele, landlord and Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Ross Morrison has submitted an application to Dundee City Council seeking permission to operate an adult entertainment venue from the former Industry nightclub on Seagate.
The venture will be operated by Andrew Cox – a Glasgow-based businessman who runs the Seventh Heaven lapdancing bar in the city.
However, following the lodging of the application in November, several locals have come out to voice their opposition to the plan, claiming it will degrade the area.
Concerns have also been shared about the location of the proposed bar, directly opposite St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, and amid other pubs and coffee shops.
Licensing consultant Janet Hood, writing on behalf of two unnamed local businesses, says there are concerns about the club attracting an “unsavoury” clientele.
In a letter to Dundee’s licensing board, she said: “My clients are concerned that the venue might attract persons of an unsavoury nature and might lead to incidents, whether verbal or otherwise, which would cause harm to women living in the area…(it would) make the Seagate a less safe place for women.”
Local resident Fraser Robertson said the creation of a strip club would be a “gross use” of land within the city centre.
He added: “Myself and my flatmates feel this should not be allowed to go ahead.
“As our jobs can have us working into the evening and early hours, returning home to drunken clubbers was bad enough when Industry was re-opened.
“The crowd this re-licensing would attract would not make us feel any safer.”
Rachel Allison, of GLOW Tanning and Beauty in Crichton Street, said granting the application would be a “major error of judgement” while Reverend Jeremy Auld, the provost of St Paul’s Episcopal, has called for the application to be refused on moral grounds.
“As a Christian church, we promote the worth and dignity of every human being as being equally deserving of honour, dignity and respect without exception,” he said.
“The nature of the business leads inevitably to the objectifying of human beings working in the club as sex objects.
“There are also increasing numbers of families with young children living in close proximity to the premises and we would argue that such premises are inappropriate for a family residential area.”
Rev Auld added that the presence of a lap-dancing bar could be “generally off-putting” to those who visit the cathedral for school concerts and other performances.
The Dundee Violence Against Women Partnership (DVAWP) says the granting of the application would contradict the council’s own commitment to equality.
Dundee Women’s Aid’s Sophie Gwyther, writing on behalf of the DVAWP, said the creation of the venue would negatively impact the surrounding area.
“The areas around lapdancing clubs have higher numbers of reported rapes, are hotspots for men soliciting prostitution, and are likely to produce large groups of men who are drunk, sexually stimulated and more likely to engage in sexually threatening behaviour,” she said.
“Activities such as lapdancing are harmful for the individual women involved and have a negative impact on the position of all women through their objectification.”
Mr Morrison could not be reached for comment.