PLANS for a new strip club in the heart of Southampton have been approved - but it will have to close at 5am.

The former Kelly’s Bar, in London Road, is to be turned into a strip club which will be called Black Diamond.

But while permission to open the strip club itself has been granted to applicant Southampton Club Ltd, the proposals to allow the venue to remain open until 6.30am and serve alcohol until 5am have been refused.

At a meeting held on Wednesday, the Licensing Committee at Southampton City Council (SCC) decided that the club can remain open until 5am and it will have to stop entertainment and the sale of alcohol at 4.30am.

Door staff will also have to have body-worn cameras while ID scanning will be compulsory for the first six months.

After six months the police and the applicant will decide whether to continue to ask clients for ID when entering the club.

The news comes after Hampshire Constabulary objected to the extension of the opening hours until 6.30am and the request to sell alcohol until 5am.

As reported, officers said these requirements were a cause for “serious concern”.

Local residents had also objected to the proposals fearing they would have a negative impact on the level of noise and crime and disorder in the area.

Resident Lorraine Barter raised the same concerns at the meeting.

PC Brian Swallow from Hampshire Constabulary told the committee how between July 2018 and July 2019, 20 incidents occurred in London Road, including 13 assaults, four thefts, one criminal damage offence and one “sex incident”.

But he said that given the new conditions which include shorter opening hours, ID scanning and body-worn cameras, the police are satisfied that the venue can be run safely and could potentially lead to a decrease of incidents in the area. This comes as Lisa Sharkey, a solicitor for Poppleston Allen which represented the applicant, told the committee that they expect a maximum of 100 clients while a nightclub at the site could host about 300 people.

She also stressed that given the nature of the club, people will not leave en masse but gradually and said that 36% of the revenue is expected to come from the sale of alcohol while the remaining 64% would come from the entertainment itself. According to the plans, people will be charged between £15 and £20 to enter the club.