A sex club for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Gloucester is to open despite local councillors voting against it.

Opponents said the club would turn the city into “Sodom and Gomorrah” but after taking legal advice, developing company Mystique has been informed it does not need permission for the venture.

The Grade-II-listed New County Hotel in the city centre will become a restaurant by day and a sex club by night.

According to the plans submitted to the council, it will cater to “alternative sexual lifestyles” such as “gay men and women, bisexual men and women, transvestites, cross-dressers, cross-genders, variables and swingers”.

A spokesman for the firm told the Western Daily News: ”We have taken legal advice and, as it turns out, we did not require any planning consent for change of use and it was a complete waste of time causing unnecessary delays. We are very disappointed with this and are continuing to take legal advice on this matter. However, our focus now is to source as much talent into the hotel as possible.

”We will be offering gallery space and sculpture space at the hotel so that local artists can sell their work to our visitors if they want to buy it.”

Those who spoke out against the club at a council meeting were accused of homophobia.

Susan Johnson, who spoke to the council on behalf of opponents, invoked Biblical language when addressing the planning meeting.

She said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Following the meeting, she added: “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.”