Truro's sex shop will stay open for the short term despite the Christian Institute's (CI) attempts to stop it trading immediately.
The High Court threw out the mean minded action brought by the nutter group and city councillor Armorel Carlyon against the Mrs Palm sex shop.
The shop was given a licence in September last year by the new unitary authority, Cornwall Council, who had overturned the previous Carrick District Council's zero sex shop policy.
However nutter pressure resulted in a change of heart about granting the licence, and the council somehow obtained new, and unlikely sounding, legal advice that the new council should not have overruled the old council. The council withdrew the
shop's licence, but perhaps realising the somewhat shaky ground and unfairness to the shop, granted a licence waiver. This allows the shop to continue trading until the whole mess is examined by the High Court in a Judicial Review on 21st
However the christian busy-bodies couldn't wait this long, and asked the court to terminate the waiver. but the Hon Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled in favour of Cornwall Council's decision to grant the waiver. The CI was also ordered to pay
Cornwall Council's costs in full, estimated at £ 8,000.
The judge also stayed the scheduled judicial review into the granting of the licence, effectively saying that the licensing process was followed correctly and that the licence stands without need of further review.
Joint owner of the shop, Braxton Reynolds said:
I'm relieved that Mr Justice Hickinbottom found in favour of the decision of the council that the business, for which no regulatory issues at all have been raised, should be allowed to trade and that it would be unfair and
unreasonable to stop us trading for a few weeks. It would be commercially inappropriate.
Speaking after the High Court ruling Mike Judge, head of communications at CI, said:
We're disappointed because we felt having accepted that granting of the licence was unlawful, and particularly because of the location, it shouldn't be allowed to remain open without a licence.
The legislation says the council has to take into consideration the suitability of the location. If right next door to a school uniform shop is regarded as somewhere suitable then anywhere is suitable, it makes a mockery of
Rather bizarrely, the redetermination of the licence hearing is expected to take place on September 7 in St Austell, a couple of weeks before the High Court Judicial Review on 21st September.
Update: A Miserable Christian Voice
2nd September 2011. See article
Stephen Green's Christian Voice have written on their blog:
Oppose Sex-Shop in Cornwall
Christian campaigners are praying for a large turn-out in St Austell on Wednesday 7th September for the hearing of a sex-shop application.
The meeting will be held in Restormel District Council Chamber, 39 Penwinnick Road, St Austell, PL25 5DR, at 10.00am. The sex-shop itself is in Little Castle Street, Truro, next to a shop selling school uniforms about 200
yards from the Cathedral.
PRAY: For a large number of Christians and concerned parents and residents to attend the licensing committee on 7th September. That the Licensing Committee will overturn its previous decision and refuse a license for the
sex-shop. Pray for the fear of God, or at least some consideration of the welfare of children, to inform the committee.
WRITE: The time for formal objections having passed, write or email the members of the Miscellaneous Licensing Committee being respectful but firm in urging them to reject the proposal for a sex shop in Truro as
inappropriate for the City and locality.
Update: Licensed Again
9th September 2011. See article
A sex shop licence has been granted for a second time to the Mrs Palm sex shop. However, the sex shop failed to get
permission for an expansion.
The licensing committee of Cornwall Council decided to rehear the application, after it changed its mind about awarding the previous licence. Nutter pressure had led to supposed concerns that it should have followed policy set by the outgoing
After rehearing the application yesterday, the licence was granted despite some local nutters and Truro City Council being opposed to the move.
Responding to news that the licence has been granted for the second time, The Christian Institute's Mike Judge said:
We're obviously disappointed at the result. It's a decision that ignores local democracy, and ignores common sense. The law gives local authorities the power to refuse sex shop licences for locations that are unsuitable. If
next door to a school uniform store isn't unsuitable, I don't know what is.
Mrs Palm manager Nicky Hewett said:
It had been a testing few months. No-one that has actually come into the shop has ever found anything offensive in here at all, everything is licensed goods and we are lawfully allowed to sell them.