THE Sawtry Sex Shop, as the organisers are forbidden to call it, is expected to open on Friday morning next week, September 2. But villagers will continue to oppose it.

The application for a licence for the former Little Chef site in Toll Bar Way on the outskirts of the village attracted widespread opposition from residents, but they failed to convince Huntingdonshire district councillors to reject the bid.

But it has taken almost nine months for Rotherham-based Pulse and Cocktails to get the building ready for customers at its 25th store.

One of the conditions imposed by HDC's licensing sub-committee was to forbid the company from referring to the new store as the "Sawtry Sex Shop", but that ambition is almost certain to be frustrated by everyone but the licensee. Instead, it will be branded Pulse and Cocktails in line with the other 24 outlets.

Pulse and Cocktails director Graham Kidd told The Hunts Post he expected the store to open around mid-morning on the Friday, although 9am will be its normal opening time.

The store had originally been expected to open in June, but getting planning approval for the signage had taken longer than anticipated, he said.

"And the building was more than derelict, so there has been a lot of work to do."

But local district councillor Darren Tysoe yesterday (Tuesday) promised to continue the village's opposition when the licence comes up for renewal in March next year.

"I was disappointed with the outcome of the licensing hearing last year, and I look forward to the licence renewal meeting when I hope the council will make the right decision and decide not to renew.

"The fact that it went through despite overwhelming local opposition was an injustice," he told The Hunts Post.

Councillors will be able to judge next March whether the establishment has lived up to the promises Mr Kidd gave the hearing in December - a discreet establishment for mature adults, out of sight and constantly monitored to ensure no one under 18 gained entry.

"It's virtually unheard of for children to try to get into an adult shop," he told the hearing at the Burgess Hall in St Ives, which was attended by about 100 Sawtry residents."

Mr Kidd said he could have opened in Sawtry without a licence but preferred to have the backing of the local authority for each of the company's shops.

Former Cambridgeshire County Council leader Keith Walters, who led the villagers' fight against the licence, said he would be watching the company's compliance with the licence conditions very closely.