Council officials have launched an inquiry after reports that a swingers’ club which closed down over safety fears has reopened under another name elsewhere in Sunderland.
Vivente, which operated in Hudson Road, Hendon, closed last April after Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service raised concerns over safety.
However, it is now believed to have relaunched as Vixens Intimate Parties (VIP), promoting itself online as offering “the same young sexy vibe we created that gave us a good reputation in the first place”.
It lists itself on Twitter as a “private members club” but does not have planning permission from Sunderland City Council, which has confirmed it is looking into reports of a club operating from a building in Mowbray Close, a secluded street in the city centre.
Hendon ward councillor Barbara McClennan has said an inquiry is being carried out to establish what, if any, services are being provided inside the building.
She said: “If anyone wants to open up a private club, they must ensure that they have valid planning permission.
“We are watching this very carefully and gathering intelligence on a daily basis and if there are any breaches in planning law or any other laws, we will take action.
“It’s not the kind of thing that we want or need in our city and particularly the Hendon ward.”
Coun McClennan added a licence would be needed if any alcohol was being served and it could be the property is being lived in.
Photos uploaded on Twitter to the @ViventeClub account show a new bar area, with a message posted saying “Pssst....Vivente is back...whoop whoop.”
It’s not the kind of thing that we want or needs in our city and particularly the Hendon ward.Councillor Barbara McClennan
Another account @vixensparties, which has the same avatar, states: “VIP...Vixens Intimate Parties.
“A stunning new location for open-minded adults living an alternative and swinging lifestyle. Formerly VIVENTE CLUB”. It also tweeted: “Naughty night in Sunderland. Head to club vixens and meet your hosts.”
The fire service has said an investigation into the Hudson Road premises is still ongoing and it is not aware of a new club being set up. Coun McClennan had expressed concerns because it was located near a school and church – the new location is also near a school and care home.
The Echo has made numerous attempts to contact those behind the club, which is thought to be run by “Jo and Kat”, but they could not be reached for comment.
Posting on fabswingers.com, Jo and Kat posted: “Vivente is now closed. However, not one to give up, despite those who tried to poison us, we have reinvented ourselves with a whole new look and a new venue.
“Because the old Vivente just got strict but we can promise the same young sexy vibe we created that gave us a good reputation in the first place.”
A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “The city council has been made aware of a private club operating at these premises.
“The council is looking into whether there may be any breaches of planning or building regulation issues.”