A sex shop that opened up next door to a school uniform store in Truro, Cornwall, will face a courtroom trial after Christians won permission to challenge the licensing decision.
The sex shop owner tried to stop the case before it started, saying the shop is already stocked and trading.
But last week the High Court nevertheless gave permission for a judicial review of Cornwall Council’s decision to grant a licence.
A judicial review allows a court to decide whether a public body has acted unlawfully.
The law says that the suitability of the location is relevant when a Council is deciding whether to grant a sex shop licence.
The legal action against the Council has been taken by Truro resident and Christian, Armorel Carlyon, and The Christian Institute.
They claim that Cornwall Council disregarded relevant material relating to the suitability of the location.
They also claim that the Council failed to give adequate reasons for concluding that the location was suitable for a sex shop even though it was next door to a school uniform store.
Cornwall Council is not contesting the case, but the sex shop owner is. A date has not yet been set for a hearing.
Speaking in November about the legal action against Cornwall Council, The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said the case has national implications.
He said: “There is a serious issue of principle at stake for the whole country, not just Cornwall.”
He 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?”
Responding to the potential legal challenge, Braxton Reynolds, one of the sex shop’s owners, said in November that the Council had “acted with entire propriety” in its decision to allow the sex shop to open.
In November it was reported that Northampton Council had blocked the opening of a fish and chip shop because the location was near to two schools and it may undermine the healthy eating message.