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Sex shop shock for St Matthew's Street

PUBLISHED: 14:03 06 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 March 2010

THEY make unlikely bedfellows - a sex shop coupled with a Christian Science Reading Room.

But that could be the vision of the future if councillors give the go ahead for Ipswich's first ever licensed sex shop.

THEY make unlikely bedfellows – a sex shop coupled with a Christian Science Reading Room.

But that could be the vision of the future if councillors give the go ahead for Ipswich's first ever licensed sex shop.

The town already has premises offering adult goods – such as The Adult Shop in Upper Orwell Street and Secrets in Norwich Road – but a sex shop sells more explicit material.

If a licence is granted by Ipswich Borough Council, the shop will open up St Matthews Street – right next to the Christian Science Reading Room.

Its proposed position sandwiched between the reading room and the Suffolk Animal Rescue shop has already caused a stir among some shopkeepers.

Yvonne Catchpole, assistant librarian of the Christian Science Reading Room, was astounded to hear of the proposal.

"It is two extremes next to each other. I strongly object and will be writing to Ipswich Borough Council.

"A sex shop is just not suitable for the area, which has been much improved with good quality shops all the way along.

"I am not so much worried about the people going in and out, as to what's going on in there. I am sure it will have pornography in it and I wouldn't wish for such a place anywhere."

Audrey Peck, 67, sales operative of The China Shop, directly opposite the proposed shop, agreed:

"A sex shop? No way. We want nice shops here. We are trying to get this area half decent not bring it downhill."

But while some strongly objected to the proposal while others were not against having such shop in action.

There were mixed opinions at the Suffolk Animal Welfare shop.

While volunteer Jean Fawcett didn't like the idea, another who didn't want to be named, said: "It doesn't bother me at all."

Meanwhile, Stan Buckles, proprietor of Freedom Tattoo, formerly Inkspot, was in favour: "As long as the shop is done up OK and it doesn't look seedy it is fine."

The premises used to be the Catalogue Shop and is now empty.

An application has been made to Ipswich Borough Council by Stephen Wesley of Sheffield based Ecclesall Trading Company to use the empty premises as a sex shop.

Meanwhile a borough council spokesman said the application will be dealt with by the Licensing Regulatory Committee next month.

He added that anyone who wants to comment should do so in writing to the Group Manager, Environment Services, Civic Centre, Civic Drive, Ipswich, IP1 2EE."

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