STRIP clubs will find it more difficult to open in Castle Point after the borough adopted tough new licensing legislation.

The new rules means the authority’s licensing committee can reject applications from live adult entertainment venues if it is felt the proposal would not fit in with the character of the area.

There are currently no strip clubs in Castle Point, but the new rules will also allow the council to limit the number of strip clubs in the borough in the future.

Peter Burch, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “I think it’s good news.

“We are not saying these venues can’t come to Castle Point, but we are saying they had better make sure they consider the feelings of the people who have to live near them.

“If someone wants to open one and there are enough objections from residents and the police, then we would have to think very seriously about it.”

The changes will see the council adopt the Policing and Crime Act 2009, which was passed following concerns about the expansion in the number of live sex entertainment venues across the country.

The rules will apply to strip clubs where live entertainment takes place more than 11 times a year.

Any operator wishing to open such a venue would have to apply for a licence from Castle Point Council.

The new legislation will also allow the council to impose tougher conditions on the licence.

The changes were adopted by the council’s licensing committee at a meeting on Tuesday.

Canvey councillor Peter May, who sits on the committee, had some concerns about the changes.

He said: “I can understand people’s fears about things like strip clubs, but I hope we are not going to prevent innocent activities.

“For example, pole dancing is a form of exercise for some people.”