24-hour drinks bid at hotel refused

Hotels on York Street.  Adam & Eve and the Mayport Marras.

Hotels on York Street. Adam & Eve and the Mayport Marras.

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A bid for a 24-hour drinks licence at a Blackpool hotel has been refused after officials outlined the ‘shocking’ impact the bad behaviour of guests was already having on neighbouring businesses.

A Blackpool Council licensing panel, made up of three councillors, turned down the application by William Lister and Joseph Formosa for the Maryport Marras B&B on York Street.

Hotels on York Street.  The Mayport Marras.

Hotels on York Street. The Mayport Marras.

They ruled evidence of the poor management of four hotels on York Street, which Mr Formosa had involvement in, meant adding an alcohol licence would make the situation even worse.

Sgt Caroline Hannon, of Blackpool Police, said Mr Formosa’s guests had been aggressive, engaged in sexual acts in the street and used lewd language.

She told the town hall hearing: “Police have concerns about the poor management.

“Guests, when they have seen the state of the hotels, have wanted refunds and that has led to some aggression. The impact on the community has been shocking.”

Mark Marshall, licensing enforcement manager for Blackpool Council, said other hoteliers in the street were “at breaking point”.

The reputation of the whole of York Street had been dragged down, and Mr Marshall branded one of Mr Formosa’s premises, at 43 York Street, as “the worst he had
ever seen in Blackpool”.

A prohibition notice had been served to close it down after health and safety officers uncovered a raft of problems, including water in the electrics, filthy toilet facilities and self-made bunk beds crammed into one room.

Mr Marshall said: “The conditions are beyond belief.

“They are an embarrassment not just to him, but to Blackpool – I was ashamed these premises were in Blackpool.”

He added new powers, under a Community Protection Warning sent to Mr Formosa, had been used to ensure positive changes were made.

Eight neighbouring hoteliers attended the hearing.

Richard Lloyd said: “There has been an increased amount of anti-social behaviour, but all we want is for the area to be safe for the people who work, live and stay here.”

Mr Formosa said he would withdraw his name from the licence for the Maryport Marras, which would be run entirely by Mr Lister.

He also said he would no longer be involved in running his other hotels on York Street – the Adam and Eve, the Foxhall Village and 43 York Street – but would be running a website to attract guests to them.

He said refurbishment work had now been carried out and he wanted to work with neighbouring hoteliers.

Mr Formosa said: “If I have caused any grievance to anyone in the street, I apologise for that.

“There has been no wrong intention on my part.

“It is not always my guests who cause the mayhem, and many times I patrol the street at the weekend, and I do my best to control it.

“Our guests are the same as stay in the other hotels and we have numerous repeat customers.”

Mr Formosa and Mr Lister have 21 days to appeal the decision.