Joy over no sex verdict

THERE were celebrations this morning as planners refused to give the go ahead to a sex shop in Wickham Market.The jubilation though was tinged with some disappointment as the applicant will still be able to run a mail order business from the site.

THERE were celebrations this morning as planners refused to give the go ahead to a sex shop in Wickham Market.

The jubilation though was tinged with some disappointment as the applicant will still be able to run a mail order business from the site.

But it was victory for the Evening Star's campaign as councillors refused the application for a members-only adults club retail warehouse use at an industrial unit at Border Cot Lane.

District Councillor for Wickham Market, Bryan Hall, said: "We have three quarters of what we asked for but certainly not all of it."

Last night, under cover of darkness, large signs advertising the shop were placed on the building, a move that only served to antagonise residents further. Over 30 concerned residents, some with placards and banners, turned up to this morning's meeting of Suffolk Coastal District Council North Area Development Control Sub Committee. Councillors refused to allow a shop to be opened at the site, (and restricted opening hours until 7pm) citing noise and fear of crime as some of the reasons.

But the crux of the argument hinged on the change of the site from industrial use to retail, a move which goes against the local plan for Wickham Market. The applicants will still however be able to operate a mail order business from the site.

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Mother of two, Cathy Bladen has actively campaigned to stop the shop and wept with relief when the decision was announced. She said: "It is just a feeling of absolute relief. I was so scared at the start of the meeting. I didn't feel they'd take us seriously."

Claire Fuller, who owns a unit on the Riverside Industrial Estate, said that today marks a huge victory for the village. "We know the applicants may still appeal but we now know that we have the support of councillors and a huge majority of villagers."

One of the applicants, Mr Ellis, was present at the start of the meeting but left before the decision was announced.

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