Ipswich: Pole-dancing bid for former Fire and Ice club near two churches in Tacket Street

IPSWICH: Controversial proposals to open a raunchy pole-dancing club near two Ipswich churches can today be unveiled.

Borough planners have received an application to convert the former Fire and Ice nightspot in Tacket Street into a “sexual entertainment venue”. Fire and Ice closed down in July last year.

If the plans are given the green light, the club would be located just yards from Roman Catholic St Pancras Church and United Reformed and Baptist place of worship, Christ Church.

The application, submitted by Shane Butcher, has drawn concerns from Fr Francis Leeder, from St Pancras, who said he did not think his congregation would be comfortable with the venue opening nearby.

“I wouldn’t like it if this club opened simply because I think it plays up to the slightly less desirable instincts and appetites we have,” he said.

“I think it would attract clientele we could do without in this area.”

However, Jay Hedges – manager of nearby Zing Wine Bar – is in favour of the proposed club and believes it could result in more customers.

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He said: “I think it would be good and bring a lot of business to the area.

“I don’t see any problem with opening a club like this here.”

Roger Gilles – director of architect firm Barefoot and Gilles – is handling the planning paperwork for applicant Mr Butcher.

He said: “I believe our client runs a similar establishment in Great Yarmouth and has been looking for a suitable venue to open this club for quite some time.

“I think this building may appeal because it has already been a nightclub and the street doesn’t have too much residential housing.”Mr Gilles said the architectural layout of the property – located at 28-32 Tacket Street – would only change very slightly should his client gain permission.

“There are plans to put up one partition but that is the only change that would be made,” he said.

“They don’t even want to change the shop front.”

Stefano Palladino, owner of Tacket Street salon Antonio Giovanni, said he would not object to the club.

“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “As long as they have the correct licence and look after the premises well I won’t be against it.”

n Editorial comment – Page 6

n What do you think? Should the application be approved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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