SAWTRY’S sex shop is now due for a June opening, after the project was delayed by a combination of a cesspit and vandalism.

When Rotherham-based Pulse and Cocktails Limited was granted its licence last December at a day-long hearing of Huntingdonshire District Council's licensing sub-committee, the firm's managing director was hoping for an Easter opening at the former Little Chef site in Toll Bar Way.

But the sewerage arrangements were so inadequate that landlords Travelodge have had to apply for planning consent for a new cesspit, and vandals have damaged the roof of the building, which was already in a poor condition.

"It will probably be another two or three weeks before we can get the builders in and start on six or eight weeks' work," managing director Graham Kidd told The Hunts Post yesterday. "So we are now scheduling the opening for some time in June.

"Also, we had problems with gypsies getting onto the site, who did a huge amount more damage that the landlords have had to deal with, including trashing the roof."

Mr Kidd said the company had heard nothing from the Sawtry community since the licensing hearing before Christmas, when villagers failed to persuade the panel not to let the sex shop go ahead.

"I suppose they are just waiting to see whether we shall be as good as our word [on undertakings given to councillors and residents at the hearing]. Until it opens, there's nothing for them to comment on."

The sex shop - which the licensee is not allowed to call the Sawtry Sex Shop - will have a manager and five other employees.

Eventually, all will be recruited locally, Mr Kidd said, although the first temporary manager will be an experienced person brought it from elsewhere in the company.

"We won't start recruiting until we're about six weeks away from opening."

The recruits will spend two weeks on a training course in Sheffield, and their training will continue during the week it takes to get the business ready for opening, "so it will be four or five weeks before anyone can work on their own."

A permanent manager will be recruited to take over when the other employees are fully trained, Mr Kidd added.

The company has lodged four planning applications to HDC - for planning consent to brick up some window openings for security reasons, and for three advertising signs on and outside the building.