Sex shop close to village opposed by locals

Hundreds of people have turned out at a public meeting against plans for a sex shop near a small English village.

Sex shop company Cocktails Limited wants to open a store close to Sawtry, which has a population of just 6,000.

Local MP Shailesh Vara gave his support to locals who say a sex shop would “cast a shadow” over Sawtry.


Ward Councillor Darren Tysoe, who chaired the public meeting, said a “unanimous and strong message” had been delivered that “we don’t want a sex shop in Sawtry”.

The sex shop is planned for a former Little Chef building just off the A1.

Keith Walters, a former councillor, said: “Sawtry is a quiet, rural, family-friendly village.

“It’s not big enough to have a bank, building society and can’t have cable TV. But apparently, someone can impose a branch of the largest sex shops in Europe against our will.”


Parish Rector Canon Malcolm Griffith also hit out at the proposal saying: “How dare this company think they can bring this kind of filth into our community?”

Local resident Liz Coates expressed concern about explicit sex shop products getting into the hands of children.

Any objections to the plans can be sent to Huntingdonshire District Council and must be received by 8 September.


Cocktails Limited, which wants to open the sex shop in Sawtry, has a chequered past.

Founding director of Cocktails Ltd., David Boothby, was imprisoned for fraud in 2002.

He resigned as a director and passed his shares to his wife Linda Boothby. She is still a director along with their three adult children and owns 76 per cent of the shares.

Cocktails Ltd. had a sex shop licence revoked in 2008 by Gateshead Council in a dispute over whether it had breached licence conditions concerning external advertising. The licence was restored after a legal challenge.


In Truro, Cornwall, a sex shop next to a school uniform store was last week given a lisense to open in the face of much local opposition.

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.

A spokesman for the sex shop company said that “standard rules” mean “nothing that will cause offence can be displayed in the window”.