Saucy shop plans revealed
OOH, la la! The sex industry is coming to wake up a sleepy Suffolk village.Wickham Market, best known for its picturesque market hill, quaint buildings and medieval church, is the epitome of the county's rural heartland, a quiet market town where people live lives untouched by the bustle of urban life.
OOH, la la! The sex industry is coming to wake up a sleepy Suffolk village.
Wickham Market, best known for its picturesque market hill, quaint buildings and medieval church, is the epitome of the county's rural heartland, a quiet market town where people live lives untouched by the bustle of urban life.
But residents were startled today to discover it could soon be home to a sex emporium.
Not on its high street alongside the newsagents, hardware stores and restaurants, but at its industrial estate just off Border Cot Lane.
The estate is home to the usual electrical manufacturers and also traders but an application has been made to turn one of the units into an exclusive members sex club and shop.
Adam and Eve's Emporium will be a strictly members only club and will work on an appointment only basis during the day but in the evenings members can come and go as they please and the applicants hope it will remain open until 10pm each night.
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In a letter accompanying their applications they say: "We do not want to be viewed as a sex shop but a fully licensed up market supplying of adult material and gifts to a strictly members only client base."
The 108 square metre shop will stock lingerie, adult toys and R18 videos.
Upon entering the premises members will be shown into a lounge where they can meet other members and browse the catalogues before being shown to the shop.
The enterprise is being set up three partners – Jeremy Ellis, of Campsea Ash, Vic Brand, of Rendlesham, and John Mitchell, of New Costessey, near Norwich.
They had originally planned to put it in the centre of Woodbridge and they have 3,500 people already wanting to join – 1,000 more people than the whole population of Wickham Market.
"This is not a sex shop, it's a private club for adult members only and it will be private and confidential," said Mr Ellis today.
"It's not going to be on the high street because we do not want people walking off the street. People will have to join properly and only those people will be allowed in.
"We felt an industrial estate would work because our members would feel embarrassed if people could see them coming and going and we don't want to offend other people who would see the club if it was in a shopping street.
"We have checked that the site is not near any schools or playgroups.
"I know there will be some people who will be against such a club, but people should come into the 21st century – there is sex on TV at 9pm. This club will be very strictly controlled."
However, Claire Fuller, director of Fullers company on the industrial estate, said: "The company and I are not narrow minded at all but my concern is that it will attract the wrong kind of people into our village. The security of our estate comes into question.
"There are a lot of people who work reasonably late and a lot of them are women who wouldn't feel safe walking around alone.
"Other traders on the estate attract families and children and I'm sure they wouldn't be happy about this kind of establishment opening.
"I understand sex shops have to be open somewhere – but why are they choosing a village like Wickham Market."
The Rev Dr John Eldridge said: "We have only just found out about it and obviously we would be very much against it and we are planning a meeting to decide what our reaction will be."
Traders on the estate were also negative about the shop.
Stuart Alexander, 42, partner at All In Autos, on the estate, said: "Our first reaction was live and let live but we have since found out that they are planning to open late. We thought it was just going to be a distribution outlet. "We are concerned about what sort of people might be coming round here and the price of property on the estate."
Stephen Bayfield, 55, owner of Bayfield's Electrical, said: "I'm very concerned it will devalue the site. It's going to be open late at night and we thought it was just going to be distribution."