A Prudish Moment

Just sent this letter.

Canterbury City Council
Military Road

WritingDear Sirs,

11 Dover Street – Licensing Request

I write to object to the proposal to grant a license to a new business in the above property. My understanding is that this premises is to be used for a lap dancing club.

I believe that the license should be withheld for the following reasons.

i) The lower Dover Street area is a mixed commercial / residential zone including family and student accommodation. It is highly inappropriate to have such a commercial property in the same area that children live.

ii) 11 Dover Street is just yards away from a major family leisure premises (the Odeon Cinema).

iii) The premises borders one of the main car parks used by young families for social and shopping purposes (Holman’s Meadow). The main foot route from this car park into the city and to the Odeon cinema directly passes the property meaning that the vast majority of those parking, including families and vulnerable adults, will see the advertising hoardings each time they park to use the facilities in the City Centre.

iv) The existence of a lap dancing club in Canterbury will have a wider commercial and reputational impact on both local businesses and the wider City. A number of restaurants are on the road opposite 11 Dover Street or nearby and their livelihood may be affected by customers wanting to avoid the vicinity of a lap dancing club.

v) There is a further reputational issue as to whether the City Council wish to be seen as supporting the existence of a business that objectifies women in such a degrading manner. The presence of such an establishment and the unease which many residents may have appears to run counter to the Council’s Community Safety Partnership strategy.

vi) The premises is less than 300 metres from St Mary Bredin Church and within site of the Cathedral. St Mary Bredin is one of the largest churches in the city, congregation members tend to be key members of the local community and many of its attendees use Holman’s Meadow car park not just for Sunday worship but also for evening worship events and social outreach purposes.

vii) The premises is less than 200 metres from Canterbury Health Centre.

viii) The premises is less than 100 metres from a Dentist.

I urge you to reject this application.


Revd Peter Ould

To coin a phrase, over my proverbials.

9 Comments on “A Prudish Moment

  1. I fully agree with the content of your letter, but have a language question that has puzzled me before:

    “premises” is a plural word, yet you (and many others) use it as if it were a singular word.

    I realize that “a premise” is not the same as “premises” as used above; but seeing “a premises” still grates on my grammar sensors.

    Any explanation or comment?

  2. Is it by the same rules of grammar that we have “within site of the Cathedral” instead of the more orthodox “within sight of the Cathedral”?

  3. When a club in Sleaford’s Market Place, which faced directly onto the church, applied for a similar licence, I decided not to oppose its licensing application. That was because I could only think of what might be considered spurious objections, very much along the lines of those you’ve laid out.

    Instead I simply asked the Licensing Committee to impose a condition that required the premises to keep its windows closed, with the curtains drawn, when the licensed activities were taking place.

  4. The presence in the area of children I can understand, but why should it particularly matter that there’s a dentist along the road?

    The mind boggles. Truly it does.

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