Sex shop D-Day

COMMUNITY leaders today made their final appeals to planners, urging them to quash an application for a sex shop which could devastate the future of their village.

COMMUNITY leaders today made their final appeals to planners, urging them to quash an application for a sex shop which could devastate the future of their village.

There are now less than 24 hours to go before the small, rural village of Wickham Market learns whether an application to open a sex shop and club called Adam and Eve's Emporium on its industrial estate will be successful.

Tomorrow , Suffolk Coastal's north area development control sub-committee will make the final, crucial decision which residents fear could change the face of the village forever.

Stacey Wyncoll, vicar of Wickham Market chapel, said: "I would urge the committee members to remember that when they sit down and make that decision tomorrow morning they are not just deciding the future of an application but the future of a whole village and all the people that live within it."


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Mr Wyncoll has campaigned tirelessly since the application was announced, helping to organise a petition and raise villager's awareness of the plans.

He said: "I am very optimistic that we will get a good result. It will be good to see the end of it – hopefully we can all get back to some sort of normality.

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"I think we've got a very good legal argument to put across on Wednesday. Hopefully that and the number of people that turn up to the meeting to show their opposition will result in us being successful."

Last week John Eldridge, vicar of All Saints' Church, wrote a heartfelt piece for the village's parish magazine, warning that the shop could lead to the breakdown of marriages and community life. Today, he said: "It would be good to think our planners would recognise the overwhelming opposition to the adult shop from every corner of Wickham Market, and help us by simply saying 'no'."

In their latest report planning officers are still recommending the application be approved but district councillor Bryan Hall is confident the committee will make the right decision.

He said: "I know from the huge numbers of people that have written to me, phoned me and knocked on my door that people feel very strongly about it.

"I am cautiously optimistic. There are some good planning reasons for refusal, which I will be putting across to the members. We have sought legal advice and have a strong argument."

The plans sent shockwaves throughout the village when it was announced almost two months ago.

Residents were further dismayed when councillors failed to reject the application at their last meeting, prompting the Evening Star to launch its 'Say No to Wickham Sex Shop' campaign.

Today, the Star joins with the village's concerned residents to issue a final plea to planners to do everything in their power to prevent the application going any further.

This is a decision which could change the face of the village forever and must NOT be allowed to happen.

N Should this shop be given the go ahead? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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