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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
Protest over swingers' club
Swingers club
Protestors say the club is in a residential area
More than 500 people have urged council bosses in County Durham to block plans to turn a former Victorian pub into a club for swingers.

The derelict King's Head hotel in Stanley, near Durham, is expected to open as a private member's club known as the Love Shack by the end of October.

But opponents say the site is close to a children's skateboard park and will be open every afternoon until midnight.

The company behind the venue, Archer and Rostron, are meeting with representatives from Derwentside District Council on Tuesday to discuss the plans.

The new venue will feature a Kama Sutra room, dungeon and a Bedouin room - complete with scattered cushions and tiny lights representing stars.

Respectable people

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We are renovating this building, which was in a disgusting state and our visitors will benefit the local economy.

"We are perfectly normal, respectable people who just happen to be swingers."

But a spokesman for Derwentside District Council said: "We received a planning application for a health club which would have been marvellous for Stanley.

"That would have been an asset to a building which is on one of the gateways into the town.

"This sort of enterprise does not project the image we want.

"We are studying case law to see if there is anything we can do."

Durham Police says it is making its own inquiries into the plan.

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