Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'No place for sex shops in city' says Portsmouth council

Sex shops and strip clubs in Portsmouth could find it harder to get a licence under new plans by the city council.

The authority's licensing committee has published a draft policy on sex establishments that would prevent new licences being granted.

The council said it had reached a "preliminary conclusion" that there was no appropriate place in the city for a sex establishment.

Residents are being asked their views on the plan in a public consultation.

Portsmouth City Council's licensing manager Nickii Humphreys said: "Based on what comes out of the consultation, there is a risk existing establishments or new premises could be refused a licence in the future, however, the committee could use its discretionary powers when considering applications and allow them to continue trading."

The licensing committee agreed in September 2011 that it should identify specific areas in the city that were suitable for sex establishments and control the number of licences that were granted.

The authority has since decided that there are no suitable areas for sex shops, adult cinemas and strip clubs.

Committee chairman Les Stevens said he did not want to close down existing clubs and said the proposals would not necessarily mean a total ban on sex establishments.

The public consultation will close on 12 April.

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