OXFORD’s only lapdancing club will re-open tonight after a stay of execution was granted by a High Court judge.

The Lodge Gentlemen’s Club in Oxpens Road had closed its doors after the city council turned down its application to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence.

But owner Al Thompson applied to the High Court for permission to take the decision to Judicial Review, and today the court agreed to hear his case.

Mr Thompson said: “We’re very very very pleased the decision to refuse the application to renew the SEV licence has been stayed by the High Court pending their decision.

“We’re both relieved and delighted.”

Mr Thompson has previsously vowed to fight the decision, which was made by the council’s general purposes licencing committee in September.

Council spokesman Christopher Lee said: “We have been notified that the High Court, on the application of the owners of The Lodge, has granted a stay of the city council licensing committee's decision not to renew the sexual entertainment venue licence.

“This will allow it to carry on providing sexual entertainment until their judicial challenge to the decision not to renew their licence is resolved.

“We are told that this process may take several months.

“This is a disappointing development which runs counter to the evidence presented to the licensing committee on concerns generated by the presence of The Lodge.”

He said the committee's decision not to renew the licence was “taken in good faith on the balance of evidence presented to it” and added that the council would continue to monitor the operation of the premises.