British morality police.
Spoiling the fun of the many,
on the complaints of the few
The owner of a swingers' club says a council could face legal action under anti-discrimination laws.
Stewart Hobbs owns Club Tease in Over, which was shut down last week after a raid by police and council officers.
But he is claiming victimisation and has continued running the venue, despite a closure order from police.
Enforcement officers from South Cambs District Council, along with police, were given a court warrant for a breach of planning control on the land, which they served on Hobbs.
The club has proved controversial since it opened in 2008, when villagers expressed concerns about its morality. Its owners applied for planning permission for a change of use at the building, from light industrial to private members' club with
rooms for sexual activities on June 5, 2008.
The application was rejected and an appeal by the club was lost on the bollox grounds that as no public transport was available, extra car journeys in the village would disturb residents and make the development unsustainable .
[Is that the best they could come up?]
But Hobbs justifiably believes he is being singled out because of the nature of his business. He told the News: They are using sustainability as a reason but what about the other businesses in the estate which have a lot more traffic? I have
some gay, transsexual and lesbian clients and I have been keeping them abreast of the situation. They are looking at taking the council to court for discrimination.
I feel really victimised. Why are they going to all this trouble and the cost to taxpayers of having six council officers and two police officers coming to my club to shut me down with a warrant just for little old me? It's just got totally out
of hand. The club has 2,500 members and average numbers at the venue at weekends are around 40, according to Hobbs.
A council spokesprat said: We know another appeal has been lodged with the planning inspectorate and we will follow what happens. As an enforcement notice was issued on the club, and the compliance period for that has expired, any further
activity is now a criminal offence. After executing our warrant at the club at the end of July we submitted a prosecution file to our solicitors who will decide whether to take this further.
Update: Still Open
23rd August 2010. From informedconsent.co.uk
From Club Tease:
Club Tease IS still open. Oblivion is still running. The newspaper should be running a retraction saying the club is still able to run due to planning being granted.
They have had to deal with do-gooders going against all applications for planning since they opened. Morally-anal people who don't like our kind upsetting the village etc etc. I doubt it will end any time soon. There
are people who won't just let dogs lay.