A licensed sex shop in Truro is continuing to attract the wrath of campaigners despite trading without incident for more than six months. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Christian Institute and a local councillor, the High Court has given permission for a judicial review of Cornwall Council’s decision to grant a licence in the first place. They claim that Cornwall Council disregarded relevant material relating to the suitability of the location and that the council failed to give adequate reasons for concluding that the location was suitable for a sex shop.
The licensed store, called Mrs Palm: Personal Products for Adults, is located next to a shop that sells school uniforms and the original licence application was met with a large number of objections. However, as these were mainly on moral grounds they were rejected as legally inadmissible.
Cornwall Council has intimated that it will not contest the case, even though that could leave it open to legal action from the owners of Mrs Palm.
Mrs Palm’s joint owner Braxton Reynolds was quoted on thisiscornwall.co.uk as saying: “All a judicial review can tell the granting authority to do is go back and re-determine the original licence, and that will probably be taking place after the first annual renewal. I addressed all the issues of objection in my own submission. The only arguments that were dismissed were essentially on moral grounds, and they were not legally admissible.”
But Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: “This confirms there is a case to answer here. Part of it is that its location is next to a school uniform shop and that the content of some objections, which was relevant to the case, was treated as irrelevant. If we win it will have implications for other sex shops around the country, allowing them to be challenged for being in inappropriate places.”