Published: 21 June, 2013
by PETER GRUNER
A PUB owner in King’s Cross was given an extra year to run his strip club so he can develop plans for a restaurant and offices on the site.
Robin Norris, owner of the Flying Scotsman in Caledonian Road, argued that being forced to close the sex venue would make it difficult to raise extra millions for the new development.
However, community safety chief Councillor Paul Convery told an Islington licensing committee on Monday that the sex licence should be refused on the grounds that the image of King’s Cross has vastly improved.
“While I appreciate the ultimate aim is for the new development I believe we should call time on the sex venue,” he said.
“It’s had a good innings so to speak – about 30 years – and times are changing for the better in King’s Cross.
“It is no longer a red-light district thanks to a policy by Islington Council of closing licensed and unlicensed sex venues.”
Cllr Convery, who was backed by two members of the public, argued that the Flying Scotsman was close to a residential area, churches and two primary schools.
“I have seen scantily dressed performers in overcoats outside having a cigarette and chatting to customers,” he said. “I don’t think the standards of management are particularly good.”
Mr Norris said he accepted the area was changing but he needed a little more time before the sex venue closed and the new development materialises.
“We’ve spent up to one- and-a-half million on the new development so far as part of a five-year plan,” he said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. We believe our management is robust and the Scotsman is regularly inspected.
“There have been no complaints from the police or the licensing department.”