‘Close down’ Sheffield massage parlour plea

Starlight
Starlight

RESIDENTS have mounted a campaign to stop a massage parlour in a Sheffield suburb from opening into the evening.

Owners of Starlight Thai Massage, on Chesterfield Road, Meersbrook, want to open until 10pm from Monday to Saturday.

The application, recommended for refusal by Sheffield Council planning officers, has sparked a fierce reaction from neighbours.

A letter to councillors signed by 74 neighbours attacks the massage parlour.

It says: “This is abhorrent and immoral and should be closed down immediately.

“It is a blight on the area and disgusting.”

The parlour, which advertises erotic and topless massages on its website, currently opens between 11am and 7pm, from Monday to Saturday.

Applicant Datchanee Bunker wants to extend the hours until 10pm from Monday to Saturday and open from 11am to 6pm on Sundays.

One resident said: “I believe that extending the hours of Starlight Thai Massage would be detrimental to our community.

“As a parent of four teenage children who pass the location several times each day, I feel it’s presence is inappropriate. Such businesses are an anachronism in today’s society.

“They help reinforce the idea of women as objects and are deeply insulting to both women and men.” The campaign against the later opening is backed by ward councillors Peter Moore, Cate McDonald and Sylvia Dunkley.

The Starlight Thai Massage website, which advertises its Chesterfield Road venue, warns under-18s not to view the ‘adult’ online material.

The site boasts: “Giving pleasure and adult fun is what our girls do best at Starlight Thai Massage.”

It promises ‘stunning girls’ who will take care of customers’ ‘every desire’.

Pictures of scantily clad women are included.

The website adds: “Any money paid to masseuses at this establishment is for their time and companionship only.

“Whatever else may occur is between consenting adults.”

Councillors meet on Tuesday, May 3 to discuss the application.

They will consider an officer report which recommends refusal due to ‘the potential for noise and disturbance to surrounding residents, which would detract from the aim of successfully balancing the needs and amenities of residents and the commercial needs of a business’.

David Bunker, who runs the parlour with his wife Datchanee, said he was ‘shocked’ by the community’s reaction.

He added: “This is a business decision - we want to open longer to be able to earn more money.”