Decision deferred over village sex shop
A SEX shop which has sparked angry protests from almost half the population of a quiet Suffolk village was discussed by authorities today.In less than a fortnight more than 1,000 signatures have been collected in opposition to the proposed sex shop and members club in Wickham Market which has a population of around 2,500.
A SEX shop which has sparked angry protests from almost half the population of a quiet Suffolk village was discussed by authorities today.
In less than a fortnight more than 1,000 signatures have been collected in opposition to the proposed sex shop and members club in Wickham Market which has a population of around 2,500.
Today, district councillors agreed to make a site visit before making a decision at a later date on whether the contentious planning application, which officers had recommended, will be approved.
Pastor Stacey Wyncoll, who helped to co-ordinate the petition, said: "I am pleased with the response but I feel that given more time we would have had an even better one.
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"I would say 80 per cent of the houses we went round signed the petition and I think if we hadn't run out of time we would have been able to get a lot more."
The petition was started after a meeting of Wickham Market parish council's planning committee where worried residents expressed their concerns and decided to take action.
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Mr Wyncoll said: "It's been a great way of raising awareness of what's going on, as some people had not even heard about it. Some people have been very upset when we've told them about it. It's something that people feel very strongly about."
A copy of the petition was taken to Suffolk Coastal's Melton offices yesterday and copies have been sent to each of the individual councillors sitting on the development control sub-committee, which was due to discuss the proposal.
Vic Brand, one of the trio of businessmen behind the Adam and Eve Emporium, sparked controversy last week after saying it would be a "positive local amenity" used to help treat sex offenders – a claim
immediately dismissed by the probation service which treats such offenders.
Meanwhile, shoppers in Woodbridge have spotted adverts for the shop posted on the side of buildings in The Thoroughfare.
The adverts promise the shop will be "coming soon" and list the kinds of items that would be available to buy.
A partner behind the venture said: "Everybody's entitled to a sex life, whether they are disabled or what they are. We're no different to Ann Summers, it's just that we're a private members club.
"People should come into the 21st century and deal with it."
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: "If the application is approved by planners the applicants will still need to gain a licence in order to operate as they wish. Without a licence they are restricted as to what they can sell."
Suffolk Coastal's development control sub-committee will make the final decision on the application at a future meeting.
Planning officers have recommended the proposals be approved as they meet all the necessary planning criteria.