A PLANNED new members-only club for gay men was refused a licence on Tuesday over fears it might contribute to crime in the Triangle area.

The club, G, in Commercial Road, is owned by Anthony and Linda Withers-Lancashire, who also own nearby nightclub 29-30 The Triangle.

The couple said their aim was to create a quiet and intimate alternative nightspot for Bournemouth’s gay community, with occasional cabaret and adult entertainment.

However, Dorset Police lodged an objection to the proposal, claiming that another drinking venue would lead to an increase in alcohol-related assaults and anti-social behaviour in the area.

They also claimed that the plans for G did not offer anything substantially different to existing venues.

At the council licensing committee meeting, Mrs Withers-Lancashire said the club had some 30 members signed up ready for the opening, all customers from 29-30.

“If anyone misbehaves they will have to go home,” she told the committee. “We take running a premises very seriously. This is a family business for us.”

She added, in response to questions from councillors, that the door at G would be manned at all times, by herself or security staff, and would have “club nannies”, men in drag to shepherd the worse for wear into taxis.

Dorset Police told councillors the Central Bournemouth Cumulative Impact Area saw 41 per cent of the borough’s alcohol-related crime and 62 per cent of its night-time public place assaults between January and June last year.

“The entertainment on offer is classed as occasional, so the primary function appears to be the sale of alcohol,” said Sergeant Darren Harris. “Based on that, the premises is in no way unique and the conditions offered to help prevent crime and disorder are no different to those of other premises in the area.”

Chairman Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “This has been a difficult decision. It has been on the applicant to demonstrate that this will not add to existing issues of crime and disorder.

“We felt on balance that that they did not do that.

“In addition the premises are not sufficiently different in terms of adding economic vibrancy to the area.”

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