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Village sex shop plans turned down

PUBLISHED: 17:30 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 09:50 08 July 2010

A MAN'S bid to expand his adult material import and distribution business to a sex shop in an industrial unit on the edge of a Norfolk village has been refused.

A MAN'S bid to expand his adult material import and distribution business to a sex shop in an industrial unit on the edge of a Norfolk village has been refused.

Father-of-three Chris Bottrell, of East Harling, hoped to open a

shop called Lush XXX on the first floor of his Cloverfield Industrial Estate base at Lopham Road, to sell sex products to personal visitors and by internet sales and mail order.

But while Breckland Council's general purposes committee agreed to grant a sex establishment licence from 9.30am to 9.30pm, the council's development control committee on Monday refused to approve a change of planning permission.

Villagers who spoke against the proposal included the Rev Nigel Kinsella. “Such is the nature of small villages no one from it will visit the shop because everyone else will find out,” he said.

“Last week a pensioner was stopped by two men in a car who demanded to know where the sex shop was. She was very shaken and that sort of behaviour will only increase if the business opens.”

Another resident said opening the shop would bring “unsavoury people into the village, the sort we want to keep out.”

Mr Bottrell produced a petition signed by more than 120 villagers who all wanted the sex shop to open.

Councillors were concerned the late opening hours would disturb villagers but Mr Bottrell explained some things legally cannot be sold wholesale over the internet and instead must be sold personally.

Nigel Wilkin, a member of the development control committee, said: “I don't see why we are considering this. The units are for industrial use only.

“If we grant this retail use then we've got no ground not to refuse the rest of the industrial units to be changed to retail. When we granted permission for the units to be built it was not with retail in mind.”

Despite the proposal being recommended for planning permission Mr Wilkin suggested the council refuse it on the grounds there was not enough adequate parking and access for customers' vehicles and the council did not want to set the precedent for the rest of the units on the industrial estate to turn to retail.

Eight councillors voted for Mr Wilkin's proposal and four against, so planning permission was refused.

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