Mixed reaction to strip club plans
A businessman facing the prospect of a strip club, and possibly a brothel, opening next door says adult entertainment has no place on New Plymouth’s main street.
Gene Martin, co-owner of Brothers Ink tattoo parlour, said they could ‘‘by all means’’ have the business somewhere else, but the former Bubble Waffle site on Devon St East, near the Liardet St intersection, was not the right location.
Security firm boss Denys Taylor has bought the town’s defunct strip club, Crave, and is planning to reopen it at 53 Devon St East under the name Xcite. It would feature a strip club in the basement and he intends on turning the upper floors into a members’ area and a brothel in the future.
Taylor said the business would be discrete and the central location would be better for safety.
But Martin said it was the wrong site. ‘‘It’s on the main street. I have two daughters and they come in to visit me all the time and I don’t want them to think that’s an OK style of life.’’
He added: ‘‘I’ve been tattooing for 28 years and when I started, tattooing was associated with gang members and brothels.
‘‘I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to get away from that.’’
Testosterone and alcohol was a bad mix, he said.
But Taylor said it was his understanding that the council had different area zones, and it was a case of ‘each to their own’.
‘‘Things like that being central, where there’s lots of people around, isn’t such a bad thing for people’s safety.’’
The premises would be discrete, he said.
‘‘There’s nothing really people can see from the outside.’’
Chief executive of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, Arun Chaudhari, said he had not had any feedback from businesses, but in his personal opinion ‘‘we need to make sure that we protect the young people’’.
‘‘It’s really in the hands of the council, what they think is appropriate,’’ he said.
Katrina Brunton, NPDC customer and regulatory solutions manager, said the application met all the requirements under the Brothels (location and signage) and Commercial Sex Premises (signage) Bylaw 2010 to operate in the city centre.
‘‘The proposed brothel has also applied for an alcohol licence, and that application must be publicly notified. The alcohol licence application was publicly notified, as required, on NPDC’s website and by a notice on the premise’s front door. No public objections have been received.’’
There is currently one brothel in New Plymouth, Hearts and Armour, on Brougham St.
People in the CBD on Thursday morning had mixed views about the possibility of another, and the immediate plans for a strip club.
New Plymouth resident Douglas Henderson said he was against that kind of business being ‘‘anywhere, ever’’.
‘‘It limits the girls, you might say. It’s very anti-social.
‘‘Hearts and Armour across from the library is bad enough.’’
New Plymouth mum Shaylee Chapman said it didn’t bother her. ‘‘It gives women jobs. As long as it’s over-18s working in there.
‘‘For some women it’s the only way they can get jobs.’’
Miranda Marsh said people had to make money somehow.
‘‘You see these things around town but it doesn’t bother me.’’
Gene Martin, co-owner of Brothers Ink, is not happy that a strip club, and possibly a brothel, could be moving in next door at the old Bubble Waffle site (above).