The owner of a club in Altrincham town centre where women danced topless until recently is on the lookout for new premises after his attempt to renew his Sexual Entertainment Licence failed.

Trafford’s council’s public protection sub-committee refused Jonathan Dodd’s bid for the new licence for Totties Lap Dancing Club, which had been running for the last 24 years.

Mr Dodd is continuing to run the bar as a nightclub but has only six months left on the lease from his landlord.

He said the option to appeal against the refusal of the licence to the magistrates’ court would have been too expensive, bearing in mind there was only a short amount of time left on the lease.

“If we had four or five years left on the lease, I would be appealing,” he said. “I think it would be better to find more viable premises.

“I would like to stay in Altrincham and we would quickly find out whether they [the council] are bothered about having sexual entertainment in the town.

“I got the impression [from the sub-committee hearing] that this would not be case. They said they would not make a decision on moral grounds, but I think that’s exactly what they did.”

He said that Totties had relaunched as a nightclub. “We had about 100 people who attended regularly for lap dancing, but now, because we are more reliant on bar takings and hence needing more people, it may be harder to maintain control.”

At the hearing last month, chair of the sub-committee, Cllr David Jarman, told Mr Dodd his club was ‘no longer appropriate’. 

He said: “We believe Altrincham is a regenerating area. It has changed with further residential properties and businesses being built into a more family and business-friendly environment.

“We feel that it’s no longer an appropriate area for this type of establishment.”

Earlier, Mr Dodd had told Totties employed five full-time staff and more than 30 part-time dancers ‘making additional income’. 

“The women are more than qualified to make their own decisions as to what they do with their bodies,” he said.

But there was reference to an incident outside the premises when a ‘drunk’ man attempting to enter the club had pulled out a machete.

Panel member Cllr Sarah Haughey also asked Mr Dodd about an incident in 2017 in which a man died following a seven-man brawl at the club.

“There was a serious situation when it kicked off between two brothers and five other men,” said Mr Dodd. He said that during the course of the altercation, a man banged his head on the ground and died as a result.

Trafford council have declined to comment.