A lap dancing bar is commendably allowing its dancers to have physical contact with their customers.
Divas Lap Dancing Bar, in Gover Lane, is using the ambiguous terms of their premises licence to allow contact between dancers and customers to continue.
The club was slapped with repressive operating conditions at a court hearing earlier this month - including the three foot rule, which prevents dancers from going within 36 inches of their clientele.
However, these terms only require the three foot distance to be maintained during a private performance, it has been discovered. Divas owner Alan Whitehead: The three foot rule only applies during a private performance and not in the rest of
the club. When the girls are not doing a private performance they are free to go and sit on a guy's lap - they are not breaking any rules.
The hearing at Liskeard Magistrates' Court in September saw Divas and their legal team lose out to Cornwall Council. The court appeal hearing had taken 11 months to get to court, after Restormel Borough Council originally imposed new conditions on
the club, following a review.
Despite volunteering 12 operating conditions, Divas disputed the three foot rule , which stated: There shall be no physical contact between the customer and dancer during their performance. Divas argued at the hearing that clubs
which operate under the three foot rule usually fail.
In a statement, Cornwall Council confirmed that Divas were operating within the law. The council were informed by the solicitor acting for Divas that they had obtained legal advice relating to the condition that was upheld by the court. It is
true that the condition does require that during the performance the performer will keep a minimum distance of three feet away from the customer. It was suggested that this is expressly limited to during the performance .
The Council has also obtained its own independent legal advice in response to this suggestion. Having sought advice, the council agrees that the three foot rule only applies during the performances.
The Police have been advised of this position and if they are of the opinion that the operation of the premises is undermining the licensing objectives then there is provision in the Licensing Act 2003 to apply for a review of the licence.