01:05PM, Monday 09 May 2022
An objector has criticised the location of The Honeypot after the venue was required to apply for renewal of its sexual entertainment licence.
Both the sexual entertainment venue and the objector were required to make representations at a licensing sub-committee meeting on Monday morning.
At the meeting, trading standards manager Greg Nelson informed the panel that the licence could not be refused ‘on moral grounds’.
It could, however, be refused in writing if councillors deemed the venue to be unsuitable ‘to the character of the relevant locality’, which was the main concern of objector Christina Sequeira.
Applicant John Sennett highlighted there hadn’t been any objections from Thames Valley Police regarding The Honeypot, which is required by law to apply for renewal annually.
He added: “The outside of the building doesn’t advertise the fact that it’s a sexual entertainment venue – there’s nothing on the outside of the building other than very small letters saying ‘gentlemen’s club’.”
Mr Sennett continued to say that although ‘one door is open’ during operating hours, passers-by could not see past the reception desk, adding that the venue was ‘discreet’.
Addressing councillors, Ms Sequeira said she would be ‘comfortable if it was in another part of Maidenhead’ that was less ‘prominent’ in the town centre.
She added: “I understand the commercial necessity for them, it’s a form of income for people and it’s employment so I’m not objecting to that.
“What I’m objecting to is purely the location of it.
“[When] you go to the Honeypot end of town, which is a large building so it does dominate [the area], and you’ve got remnants of really how rundown Maidenhead has been in the past and neglected somewhat.
“I have walked past there in the evening coming back from London on the train, and there have been people stood outside and I do feel personally vulnerable at that time.
“I do believe it does set a tone for that area; I agree that [the signage] is discreet writing, but it does have quite a large logo with the picture of the woman which can be seen from many places around the town.
“I’m not sure I would like to explain to a young girl coming out of football training at 6pm what that is representing.”
Ms Sequeira said she believed renewal of the licence ‘would make regeneration quite difficult’ given its location opposite The Landing site.
In response, Mr Sennett said: “Queen Street is a commercial and entertainment-designated area by the council, so therefore any buildings that are there should be for entertainment and commercial [purposes], which doesn’t really mean that there’s anything wrong with [the application].”
Following the representations, Cllrs David Cannon, Gurpreet Bhangra and Geoff Hill retired to deliberate their verdict, which must be received within five working days.
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