Bognor councillors object to topless dance bid

Bognor Pier
Bognor Pier
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ADULT nights with topless dancers could be staged on Bognor Regis Pier.

Pier owner John Ayers wants to stage up to 11 of the entertainment sessions a year in Club Vision and Sports Bar.

He has applied to Arun District Council to be allowed to vary his premises licence for the premises.

Objections to the plan were made by Bognor Regis Town Council’s planning and licensing committee on Tuesday.

Its members have told Arun they are deeply unhappy with the idea.

They said they wanted to see more detailed rules about preventing lewd behaviour on the adult nights and they were worried the dancers could be exploited and victims of sex trafficking.

But they acknowledged their legal grounds of objection were limited.

Committee chairman Pat Dillon (C, Pevensey) said: “Morally, we can object to this but there does not seem to be a lot we can do about it.

“In an ideal world we would be able to turn round and say we did not want this in our town.

“I think it will demean the town and attract the wrong sort of people here.”

Cllr David Meagher (LD, Orchard), a committee member, said: “We should say we feel toothless at preventing this sort of activity happening.

“This is not a suitable use of the pier and is degrading to the entertainers and customers and is exploitation.

“How do we know these people are not being trafficked?”

Fellow committee member Cllr Jeanette Warr (LD, Hotham) said: “These nights could be happening almost once a month.

“The neighbourhood on the whole will feel like we do.

“It’s only a minority of people who are going to frequent that place from our area. They will also come from other areas.”

The licence for Club Vision is held by Mr Ayers’s company, Bognor Pier Leisure.

Its application states the evenings will be stage show-orientated entertainment of ladies evenings and gents evenings with a comedy compere.

These include a limit of 11 a year, rules about the dancers’ dress and a ban on deliberate conduct between them and the customers.

Entry will be by advance ticket only.

These will not be sold less than 24 hours before a show.

Buyers will be told about the nature of the events. They will be for over-21s only and a scanner ID system will be used.

The capacity will be set at 600 customers.

Two extra security staff will be on duty and no posters or flyers will promote the events to protect children from harm.

It will also be impossible to see in the venue from outside.