Plans to create a private sex club aimed at LGBT people would have turned Gloucester city into “Sodom and Gomorrah”, opponents have said.
Developing company Mystique hoped to turn the Grade-II-listed New County Hotel in the city centre into a restaurant by day and a sex club by night.
The planning application read: “The private members’ club would comprise an exclusive venue for people with alternative sexual lifestyles such as gay men and women, bisexual men and women, transvestites, cross-dressers, cross-genders, variables and swingers.”
However, city councillors rejected the application, saying the central location was unsuitable for the venture.
According to Press Association, Susan Johnson, who spoke to the council on behalf of opponents, called on the “good men and women of Gloucester” to reject the plans, saying: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Following the meeting, she said: “I didn’t use the words Sodom and Gomorrah, but I feel that this would have been the thin end of the wedge, which would only lead to Gloucester turning into that.
”I’m not homophobic, but I can love people and hate their activities. I can still hate the homosexual act. And I certainly hate adultery.”
Others suggested that allowing the plans could lead to prostitution and make the area unsafe for residents.
Despite the vocal opposition of some, the plans were rejected by a slim 6-5 majority.
Planning applications may not be voted upon on moral grounds, although it was reported that many of the complaints sent to the council were dismissed as homophobic.
Labour councillor for Matson and Robinswood, Mary Smith, said: “I’m absolutely appalled by some of these comments. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so homophobic. I’m saddened to think that we’ve not moved on at all.”