A Birmingham city centre strip club has been granted a new licence after residents who said they were disturbed at the sight of scantily-clad women smoking outside the premises failed to attend a public hearing to register their complaints.
Eleven letters objecting to Legs 11 in Gas Street – alleging noise from loud music, drunken customers and women in lingerie standing outside in the middle of the night – were received by the city council licensing-sub committee.
There were also concerns about the number of sex establishments in the area close to flats and apartments off Broad Street.
But the letter writers were not present to give evidence when the club’s application for a licence was heard by the sub-committee.
Instead, councillors were told that Legs 11 was an “excellent neighbour”. A spokesman for the Worcester Bar Residents Association, representing boat owners moored on the canal near Gas Street, said: “The club causes no noise, no disturbance and no problem.
“We are not kept awake by Legs 11. We are kept awake by other operators in the area.”
The club’s owners dismissed the letter-writing campaign as the work of a handful of disgruntled residents.
Terry Poultney, representing Legs 11 management, said none of those who had complained lived near enough to the club to suffer disturbance.
Allegations of loud music and of women in their underwear smoking outside were simply untrue, he insisted.
Mr Poultney added: “Because of the nature of the business we are running the women talk quietly with customers. There is no loud music.
“This is a low-key up-market operation.
“There is no disco and no binge drinking. We don’t serve pints of beer, only top-brand bottled beer and champagne.
“Legs 11 is well known in Birmingham. It is a brand that doesn’t have any problems. It is said girls are appearing smoking in their lingerie. That is certainly not the case.”
Girls wishing to go outside were required to wear dressing gowns fully covering their bodies, he insisted.
Sub-committee chairman Coun David Osborne (Lib Dem South Yardley) ordered the club to screen the smoking area so it could not be seen from nearby properties.
He said it was impossible to pinpoint the source of loud music since the Legs 11 building also contains a night club and restaurant.