Fears over Stratford club’s ‘sex’ licence renewal

Swagga nightclub in Stratford

Swagga nightclub in Stratford - Credit: Archant

Businesses and residents have raised concerns after an application calling for the renewal of a sexual entertainments venue licence for a Stratford club was submitted to the council.

Previous owners, at the nightclub venue in Broadway, have held the licence for the past 10 years and last month, an application to keep the venue operating under new ownership was submitted by company Serene Entertainments Ltd.

Residents have since come forward to oppose plans, insisting that a renewal of the licence, which allows entertainment including lap dancing and strip shows in front of an audience, could lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

The vicar of St John’s Church, the Rev David Richards, believes the club would destroy the ambiance of the family-friendly area. He said: “I think it is inappropriate. Clubs which offer this kind of entertainment will never improve the ambiance of the neighbourhood.

“I don’t think it will be good for the local area if agreed upon. These kinds of clubs only attract people from a niche market and there could be more constructive businesses for that venue which appeal to a wider group.”

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The chief executive of Discover Children’s Centre, which is a few doors away from the club, added: “We are working along other businesses to try and make Stratford the destination for families and something which offers this kind of entertainment is not in keeping with the local area.”

One resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It could lead to anti-social behaviour around the area. It just isn’t in the right place, we have a children’s centre, family-friendly cafes and even a court nearby. It just isn’t something Stratford needs.”

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A council spokeswoman said comments on this licence will be considered when the application goes to the licensing committee for a decision, a date for which has yet to be set.

She added: “As with all such licences, if approved, it will be subject to standard licence conditions and any special conditions that the committee consider appropriate. The council will monitor the venue to ensure the conditions are complied with and will take enforcement action if necessary.”

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