Swingers club with “dogging room” shuts

Secret swingers club in Sunderland on Villiers Street in Hendon.
Secret swingers club in Sunderland on Villiers Street in Hendon.
Have your say

A SWINGERS’ club will swing no more.

Organisers of Secrets, in Villiers Street, Sunniside, Sunderland, had hoped to gain planning permission from the council.

According to its website, the club also proposed to launch overnight accommodation at the venue, which boasted a “dogging room” with full-size car, as well as holding sex parties across the country.

However, bosses claimed recent “publicity” in the media meant any bid would have been unsuccessful. They now propose to move to another undisclosed location.

A club spokesman said: “We are relocating, but we don’t know where yet. We’re disappointed about it as we had plans ready to apply for planning permission.

“There was always the risk that we would get knocked back, but once it had been in the paper that we were applying, that was decision made.”

Alan Dunville, the landlord of the property, said he had collected the keys from them and was now looking for new tenants.

Mr Dunville, who owns more than 100 properties, said: “There has been a lot of bad publicity about them and I felt it was about time something was done about it. They moved out and I have taken the keys back.”

Last year, when the club opened, it was criticised by some members of the community, including priest Father Chris Jackson, of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, in Penshaw.

Today he said: “I’m glad to hear the news. The love between a man and a woman is a beautiful gift; far too beautiful to be made cheap and sleazy.”

However, others living and working nearby said the arrival of the club was of no concern to them.

Former neighbour Andy Sneddon, who lived next door, described the them as the “perfect neighbours”.

“We never heard a peep out of them,” he said. “I never had any problems with them at all. They weren’t noisy like some of the places around here. I’d never see them. I wish I had a 100 neighbours like them.”

One visitor to the club said it appeared to have been a “big hit” since its launch.

Sunderland City Council asked Secrets to apply for planning permission, which would allow those with concerns to submit official objections.

Swinging, whereby couples swap sexual partners, is legal. However, the venue could have been shut down if the owners did not apply for planning permission, or if their retrospective application was rejected by councillors.

Twitter: @tomwhite7