Sawtry sex shop - councillors got it wrong
IN response to your question about whether Sawtry has been let down by Huntingdonshire District Council, I would have to agree.
The siting of a sex shop in Huntingdonshire is not the issue here, as it is clear that there is a market for such products, and it is not illegal to sell them. Nor is the issue about the morality of the pornographic and sex aid trade.
The issue here is simply about the locality of the proposed shop. The district council had it in its power to refuse a licence if the location of the shop would alter the character of the locality. However, locality is a very vague term, and to some means the immediate vicinity of a property, and to others it can mean whole regions.
The district council, after a site visit and consideration of the evidence submitted, considered the location to be in the locality of the A1(M). The people of Sawtry consider the location to be very much a part of the locality of their village.
It is true that the site appears remote and, without the unprecedented number of objections received, the district councillors could be forgiven for taking the view that they did.
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However, in the light of the objections from the village, and the objections by Sawtry Parish Council, district councillors who live in the village and the local MP who lives near the village, I believe the district council should have heard the voice of the community and should have determined that the locality in this case was Sawtry.
They may still have considered it appropriate to grant a licence in the locality of Sawtry, but at least they would have done so informed by the best local knowledge available.
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I believe, therefore, that locality should be defined by the local people.
Creative director, LGS