A TAXI driver in Abergavenny has explained why he is committed to realising a long-term family dream of bringing an adult shop to the town centre.

Shane Lewis, well-known in the area as the owner of Lewis’ Taxis, has taken out a four-year lease on the store at the junction of Brecon Road and Frogmore Street, which was Abergavenny Model Centre.

Last month he applied for a change of use and is hoping to turn the now empty store into an adult shop – home to lingerie and sex toys and clothing for all genders and sexualities.

The application process is open until January 13, and the plans have received more than 100 objections – including from MP David Davies and the town council.

But it generally seems a positive idea among people in the town, with a petition set up by Mr Lewis calling for support for the plans already attracting 450 signatures.

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“I believe there are 100 objections due to the wording on the Monmouthshire County Council licensing notice,” he said, referring to the notice stuck to the door.

“They’ve called it a ‘sex shop’ with no explanation as to what that means. People might assume customers will be up to no good in here. The wording has painted a bad picture, and we’ve had some hysteria as a result.

“It’s also not something that this town has ever had before – and I think some are stuck in their old ways. 

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“But the town is full of similar shops as a result. I think this will bring people to Abergavenny. We don’t have a shop like this in the whole county.”

It is the second time Mr Lewis’ family have applied to the council for an adult shop. 28 years ago his grandparents had their bid for a similar store knocked back.

“It’s something that’s always stayed with me, but when I walked in and realised the old tenants were leaving, I felt it was a great time to give it another shot.

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“The taxi industry is on its knees, it’s been an awful time. Most of my customers are shielding, and I have three children to look after. It’s quite serious.

“It’s taken a lot of energy to get this far with the application.”

Mr Lewis said that while he is hopeful of a new venture with the adult shop, he will continue operating a taxi service for the community.

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“I love it,” he added. “I’ve built up a local clientele that I won’t quit on. I’ve always wanted to support Abergavenny, and I genuinely think this (adult store) will add to the town.”

Anyone who wishes to object to the application should contact Monmouthshire council’s licensing department by January 13.

To see Mr Lewis’ petition go to https://www.change.org/p/the-people-of-abergavenny-support-for-a-local-private-shop-in-abergavenny.