THE owners of an exotic dancing venue have vowed to stay in Northwood after a bid by residents to close it down failed.
The Olde Northwood Public House in Pinner Road has hosted lapdancing for 12 years but new government legislation forced it to apply for a Sex Establishment Licence - giving locals the chance to object.
An Uxbridge Civic Centre hearing last Thursday heard that, despite local concerns, no incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour had been linked to the pub since it reopened as a strip joint in 2000.
Owners Steve and Christine Pantling said the objections were unfounded and based on generalisations about the sex entertainment industry.
Mrs Pantling told the Gazette: "To the objectors I would say please come in and visit because what they seem to think is happening here is totally unreal.
"I used to think it was sordid before we started but now I feel much safer here than any other pub. You don't get trouble because the customers can see naked girls, they don't need to argue with other men about women, football or politics."
Nineteen objections were received, plus a petition of more than 100 names. Complaints argued the venue's location was unsuitable for exotic dancing.
London School of Theology student Amy Snaith said: "Because it is on the route to schools I am concerned about children being exposed."
And Ms Snaith also objected to the morality of sexual entertainment: "There is a new sweep of recognition for problems like sex addiction. We receive therapy at school."
Local resident Mrs Sheppard said: "Strip joints are more suited to larger areas like West Drayton or Hayes. People deliberately avoid the high street because they don't want to walk past it."
No objectors referred to specific crimes or unsavoury incidents, other than one occasion when a passing driver claimed she saw a fully naked woman through a gap in the window.
The Pantling's argued the area was not exclusively residential and contained a mixture of housing, retail and industrial uses. A nearby billboard had even displayed advertisements for Spearmint Rhino and Wonderbra.
Their lawyer Ian Duncan said: "In order to gain access to the dancing area you have to walk through an ordinary bar which sells food and drink. No one can walk in misguided, there are clear signs.
"You can still have a pint and a sandwich without seeing dancers."
Mr Duncan added that there was a zero-touch policy and without exotic dancing the business would become inviable.
Councillors on the licensing sub-committee later agreed to grant the licence on condition that an external sign depicting the silhouette of a woman be altered and CCTV screens were hidden from view.