An extraordinary meeting of the Basildon District Planning Committee has voted in favour of creating the area’s first-ever red light district from 1st September 2017 within the boundaries of Festival Leisure Park.
Situated within just a few minutes of the A127, the site has a bowling alley, cinema, various restaurants and clubs.
It is thought that complaints of under-occupancy from the two hotels on-site persuaded many councillors to approve the plans.
The 21-4 outcome means that all forms of prostitution and paid-for sexual activity will be regulated and permitted within the confines of ‘Bas Vegas’ from 11pm until 6am seven days a week, with extended hours being an option for special events, public holidays and other exceptional circumstances.
Under the terms of the deal, a 20% levy will be applied to all relevant transactions, with funds being used to improve literacy and other lifestyle factors in local primary schools.
A travelling sex careers roadshow will also tour South Essex secondary schools, funded by the local authority.
Alan Shafter is Basildon’s newly-established Councillor for Non-Family Oriented Leisure Pursuits, and he told Southend News Network that the deal will create ‘many employment opportunities and economic prosperity for the borough.’
He added: ‘We have outsourced management of the programme to Sherman Shandy Associates – the company responsible for a number of operations in Amsterdam.’
‘We’re also sending a clear message that Basildon is a friend of the EU in these Brexit-crazy times by inviting applications from all over the bloc before the UK leaves.’
‘This policy has been drafted after taking advice from members of the public who are already familiar with our existing red light scene.’
‘Sherman Shandy has been at the forefront of providing affordable and ethical adult services for a number of years, and so we are delighted to have them on board.’
‘They are experts in making the industry accessible to everyone regardless of their income bracket – they have already confirmed that a franchise of Score For A Score will take over one of the unused retail units.’
We asked Cllr Shafter if there had been any objections to the plans.
He sakd: ‘So far, the only objection has been from the two buffet restaurants on site. We have assured them that no more ‘all you can eat’ outlets will be approved for the site.’