Concern growing over Marlowes sex bar bid

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Controversial plans to open a lapdancing club in the heart of Hemel Hempstead town centre have come under further fire this week.

The Gazette reported last week that town MP Mike Penning was planning to object to the proposal because of the inappropriate site.

And his objections are echoed by the Rev Vindra Maraj-Ogden of Hemel Hempstead Methodist Church, who said: “We are deeply concerned by these plans.

“We believe that all people are made in the image of God and we object to any business that profits from degrading and objectifying both women and men.

“Should the licence be granted, we hope that the establishment’s staff will receive high levels of support and protection from harm.”

After 8 Entertainment Ltd already runs a lapdancing club in Luton and has applied for the licence to open a ‘sexual entertainment’ venue open from 8pm until 6am in the morning on Fridays, Saturdays and bank holidays.

It’s the second application of this kind this year after Images nightclub in the Old Town had a licence granted to open an ‘upmarket’ basement gentlemen’s club.

Others who have reservations include Angela Irving from Bennetts End, who said: “It’s a bad place to have it.

“It will only attract more problems with alcohol. If it’s open until 6am there will be normal people wanting to go to work with drunks staggering everywhere.”

Howard Hyames, who runs the temporary Christmas shop next door to the proposed venue, had a more pragmatic view.

He said: “It’s not the right kind of town for this sort of thing, but then again there are lot of empty shops around so if it’s a good money maker, good luck to them but I don’t think it’ll work.”

A decision on the application will be made in the new year.