A SEX shop in Bournemouth has had its trading licence renewed, despite opposition from local people.

Bournemouth Borough Council's licensing board voted to renew the licence of the Simply Pleasure.com Uncut adult store at Holdenhurst Road after receiving five objections from members of the public.

The shop, which sells pornographic magazines, DVDs, sex toys and lingerie has been trading since 1985.

Objectors to the renewal said the shop's merchandise damaged the area's reputation and compromised the business of the many guesthouses there.

They also feared the shop was a corrupting influence on local children and that the type of customers the shop attracts could endanger children.

The shop's proprietor, Tim Hemming told councillors that the sex shop industry had undergone a radical image change in recent years.

He said: "The stereotypical image of the type of person who uses sex shops is outdated. We have gone mainstream."

Mr Hemming also told the board that 35 per cent of his customers are female and that "every type of person comes into the shop."

He denied sex toys were displayed in a place where they could be viewed by children.

Mr Hemming said his shop compared favourably with the Ann Summers store on Commercial Road, adding that he was uncomfortable that a high street chain openly displayed sex toys at the back of its store where they could easily be seen by children and teenagers.

In contrast, his shop has blacked-out windows and staff prevent underage customers from entering, he told the board.

Cllr David Kelsey, vice president of the licensing board, defended the decision to renew the licence.

He said: "It's a perfectly well run business. It doesn't downgrade the area at all."

Mr Hemming's other branch of the same business, also on Holdenhurst Road, is due to have its licence reviewed next month.

Story: John Hayward