A sex shop in Cornwall that is set to open right next to a school uniform shop is facing a legal challenge from a local resident and a Christian charity.
The firm Mrs Palm Limited was controversially given the go-ahead to open a sex shop in Truro by Cornwall Council in August, but many locals have expressed concerns.
Now Truro resident Armorel Carlyon and The Christian Institute are calling for a judicial review, which would challenge the decision that allowed the sex shop to open.
Mrs Carlyon, a city councillor and former Mayor, has previously hit out at the proposed sex shop.
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “Like a lot of people, we were shocked when Cornwall Council agreed to license a sex shop in a family shopping area, right next door to a school uniform shop.
“The sex shop licensing regime gives councils discretion to say ‘no’ but Cornwall chose to say ‘yes’.
“There is a serious issue of principle at stake for the whole country, not just Cornwall.”
Mr Calvert added: “If it is OK to license shops to sell hard core porn next to premises routinely used by children and families, then nowhere is safe. What next, a sex shop adjacent to a nursery school?
“We think there are strong grounds for inviting the court to look at this decision and to see if Cornwall correctly followed the law.”
A judicial review allows a court to decide on whether a public body has acted lawfully.
Responding to the potential legal challenge, Braxton Reynolds, one of the sex shop’s owners, said the Council had “acted with entire propriety” in its decision to allow the sex shop to open.
A spokeswoman from the Council confirmed that it had received notification of an application for a judicial review.
Vicky Trevail, who manages the school uniform shop next to the site, said in July that the sex shop was “distasteful”. She said children as young as three are going in and out of her shop.
“We don’t want something like that next door”, she commented, remarking: “We’re a cathedral city, we live in a nice street here and we’re all friendly and neighbourly”.
In August a local news website reported a 700-name petition had been gathered and 90 complaints about the proposed sex shop had been made.
One mum said she was concerned her children would see the sex shop when going into the school uniform shop.
“I don’t think it’s right to have a shop like that and I’m sad to see it happening in Truro”, said Siobhan Ward.