Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'If You Want to Be Offended Then Walk around Newcastle at Night and It's Easy ...but You've Got to Let Some Things Go' Barrister's Argument as Below-Ground Lap Dancing Club Gets Go-Ahead

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'If You Want to Be Offended Then Walk around Newcastle at Night and It's Easy ...but You've Got to Let Some Things Go' Barrister's Argument as Below-Ground Lap Dancing Club Gets Go-Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

A CONTROVERSIAL new lap dancing bar could be open within weeks after councillors approved renewal of its licence.

For Your Eyes Only Ltd (FYEO) has never operated the basement of what used to be The Den nightclub in Newcastle as a table dancing venue.

But despite more than 30 letters of objection, barrister Charles Holland told Newcastle City Council's licensing sub committee that to prevent it now doing so would impinge the firm's "freedom of expression".

And councillors have now renewed the licence for the venue.

"A butchers will upset vegitarians, religious people are upset by atheists and atheists by religious people, and everyone hates lawyers - but you've got to have tolerance," Mr Holland told the committee.

"If you want to be offended then walk around Newcastle on a night and it's very easy. People will always be upset but part of being human is that you've got to let some of these things go."

Mr Holland said the firm had waited for years to open a new club after investing in a longterm PS1.5m lease, as Baron House had suffered structural problems and required scaffolding to be erected around it.

The committee were told that FYEO - which already runs Diamonds on Grey Street, Blue Velvet on Dean Street and a self titled club at Carliol Square - planned to spend a further PS1m fitting out the new club and creating a previously unannounced American-style diner above it in the what used to be The Lounge.

And Mr Holland said the new below-ground lap dancing venue would have capacity of 120 people.

The barrister claimed that lap dancing clubs lead to less crime, less issues of public safety, less public nuisance, and are easier to keep children out of than nightclubs.

He added that Northumbria Police had not objected, and that FYEO hoped its new business could be "an asset to the city."

Objections had been raised over the proposed club being amid the multi-million pound station "gateway" redevelopment.

But Mr Holland said: "Be wary of the term 'Gateway to the City'" he said. "It's just a street. This is not on a main arterial road. …

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