Canterbury lap dancing club plan sparks fears over rape
Plans are in hand for a
lap dancing club at the former Farmhouse
by Jamie Bullen
Canterbury could see an increase in rape and sexual violence if
a lap dancing club opens in the city, it has been claimed.
Oaten Hill and District Society vice-chairman Gillian Northcott
Liles says research shows such venues increase sexually-motivated
She made the claims as the society fights to stop a pole dancing
club called The Bing opening in the former Farmhouse building in
Mrs Northcott Liles, 43, quotes figures from the Lilith Report,
which states that since 1999 rape of women in Camden – which has
seven sex clubs – has risen 50% and sexual assault by 57%.
She even put a poster in her window with information on the
report to encourage passers-by to object to the plans before last
It said: “The Oaten Hill and District Society is strongly
opposing this application, which would allow late night/early
morning opening for this “entertainment”, together with the serving
of alcohol (until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights).
Gillian Northcott-Liles, vice-chairman of the
Oaten Hill Society who is opposed to the Canterbury lap dancing
“Research in other areas where such establishments have been
opened show an increase of around a third in reported cases of rape
and a half in cases of sexual harassment.
“Dover Street is a largely residential street with a number of
nearby educational establishments and is a wholly inappropiate
location for an establishment of this kind.”
Mrs Northcott Liles said: “I’ve certainly seen people stop and
look at the notice. The idea is to encourage people to contact the
council and I think most people are aware of this now.”
application was submitted last month, opinion about the club has
been split in the city, with some saying it will fill a late-night
void while others argue it is inappropiately close to Christ
Church, Stafford House and Canterbury College.
The licence, if granted, will see the club open from 8pm until
1am from Sunday to Thursday and 8pm until 3am on Fridays and
Fellow society member Fred Whitemore bumped into two of the men
behind the plans as they were canvassing for support last week.
He said: “We spoke for about 10 minutes and it was a very polite
conversation. I have no problems with them – what they are doing is
“I just think there are concerns for the reputation of the
“Having said that, we have come across some who want the club as
The police have declined to comment on the application until it
has been considered by the licensing committee.
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