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Porn Shop pole dancing endorsed

CHRIS THOMSON

Plans by a business called The Porn Shop to launch a pole dance strip show have been backed by city planners who have recommended an unlisted sex-related land use category be employed to pave the way for the spicy operation at a business park in Kewdale.

Proprietor of The Porn Shop, Katherine Preston, has asked the City of Belmont to approve a pole dance show for her premises at 2/133 Kewdale Road at Kewdale Business Park in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

In a letter to the council, Ms Preston says she wants to instal a pole, employ pole dancers, and place a three-seater couch and two one-seater couches around the pole so five “spectators” can watch.

She stresses the spectators would not be allowed to touch the dancers, only one of which would be employed at a time.

Ms Preston says no sexual services involving physical contact would be on offer.

If approved, the pole dancing – which would see the performers strip – would occur during The Porn Shop’s opening hours of 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays.

NO LOITERING

“Dance show patrons would be managed by way of bookings and would not be allowed to loiter in my shop before or after bookings,” Ms Preston promises.

“I am not aware of any instances of dance shows attracting any kind of trouble or unwanted antisocial behaviour to the areas in which they are run.”

In a report to their political masters, council planners have recommended the pole dancing be approved as an unlisted (sex related use) under the city’s planning scheme, in the largely industrial suburb.

In 2010, the city’s councillors agreed to add a formal sex related land use to Belmont’s planning scheme but were rebuffed by the Western Australian Planning Commission which in 2011 advised the land use would be an illegal activity.

At the time, council officials considered the WAPC opinion to be unfounded, as the officials’ definition of the land use did not apply to prostitution.

The officials instead opined that ‘sex related uses’ could cover such activities as sex therapy, peep shows, strip shows, Burlesque shows, lap dancers, skimpy barmaids and the filming of pornography.

MORALITY

The city’s planners now advise that the morality of a particular land use is not a valid planning consideration.

“The council, when assessing an application for planning approval, cannot assess it based on moral or religious grounds,” the planners advise.

Ms Preston’s planning application was referred to 22 property owners at Kewdale Business Park for comment and no submissions were received.

One of The Porn Shop’s next-door neighbours wrote a reference for Ms Preston vouching for her as a good neighbour and stating he does not object to her planned pole dances.

The planners’ recommendation will be considered at Belmont council’s last meeting of the year on December 16.

Photo: Exey Panteleev, Wikimedia Commons

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