THE only lap dancing club in County Durham will be closed for the foreseeable future after surrendering its sexual entertainment venue licence ahead of a hearing to have it revoked.

Councillors were due to meet tomorrow, (Tuesday, January 22) to discuss Red Velvet in Consett, which lost its drinks licence after a drug raid uncovered cocaine on the premises.

Today club boss Sonny Gill gave up his licence and said he was considering the controversial club’s future and whether to lodge an appeal over the alcohol ban.

“We would like to deal with the drinks licence first then the SEV licence," he said. "Then is no point in spending money of solicitor’s fees until I know the outcome of that.”

Durham County Council made the application to revoke the sexual entertainments licence, which is needed to allow lap dancing to take place, after Durham Constabulary successfully seized the alcohol licence.

A licensing committee earlier this month heard how the venue was subject to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Last month, of the seven arrested on suspicion of class A drug offences, two were bailed pending further inquiries, while two others were released after being cautioned for possession of cocaine. No further action was taken against the remaining three.

Mr Gill has until the end of the month to appeal against the revocation of his drinks licence and if he does so a hearing will be held before magistrates.

He will then have to reapply for a sexual entertainment licence.

If it had been revoked he would have had to wait 12 months before he could reapply.

Police licensing officer Sergeant Tim Robson said: “There is method in his madness. It is good news though because the feeling from the public is that it is not wanted in that area.”

The club has been mired in controversy since opening in 2007 above a fish shop in Front Street with residents and church groups opposed to the sleazy nature of the business within the community.

A spokesman for Durham County Council said: “We can confirm that sexual entertainment licence has been surrendered, which means there are currently no premises with such a licence within the county.”