A CONTROVERSIAL lap dancing club can reopen as a nightclub, councillors have decided.

Durham County Council’s statutory licensing sub-committee has granted a premises licence for the former Red Velvet club in Front Street, Consett.

Police originally opposed the licence application, but withdrew their objection after reaching agreement with the applicants on operating conditions.

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The strip club, which was run by Sonny Gill, has been closed since last January when it lost its drinks licence following the discovery of cocaine during a police raid.

Paget Singer applied to the council for permission to open each night between 11pm and 3am.

Durham Constabulary’s initial objections were that opening a club each night would lead to public nuisance and crime and disorder.

Councillors were told today (Tuesday, July 15) that the two sides reached agreement during a mediation exercise.

The club must close at 2am rather than 3am and no alcohol is allowed to be served after 1.30am, according to the conditions.

Three door staff must be employed on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday nights before a Bank Holiday and when deemed necessary.

An ID scanner must be operated and everyone under the age of 25 must be logged.

CCTV must also cover the inside of the premises and the rear exit and stairs.

The licence is for two years only.

Neither the applicant nor the police attended the hearing.