Sauna’s hours granted

The Honeycombe sauna, Egerton Rd, Blackpool.

The Honeycombe sauna, Egerton Rd, Blackpool.

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A SAUNA has finally won its battle to stay open later.

Town hall planners have approved a bid by the Honeycombe on Egerton Road, North Shore, to extend its operating hours.

It means the venue, which previously was only allowed to open until 8pm, can now operate until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 11pm on weekdays.

The application by owner Chris Maher, had been deferred by members of the Blackpool Planning Committee when they met in November in order to give neighbours opportunity to have their say.

Following the deadline for comments to be made, six letters of objection were received and eight letters of support.

The council’s head of development management Gary Johnson approved the application under delegated powers after conferring with Blackpool’s chairman of planning Coun David Owen.

Coun Owen said: “The application was only deferred on a technicality that the period of consultation had not expired when the committee last met.

“The committee delegated power to approve to the chief officer subject to there being no proper planning objections, which there weren’t.

“There haven’t been any complaints that I am aware of as to the use of the property, but that’s not to say everyone is happy with it.”

The Honeycombe, a popular venue for gay men, previously lost bids for a late night drinks licence and for planning permission to extend its opening hours to 3am.

Claremont ward councillor Ivan Taylor had spoken out against the extension of the hours, saying many young families lived in the area.

The terms of the planning approval stipulate the premises are “for use as a spa and sauna with steamroom and sunbed facilities and for no other purpose.”

Mr Maher had argued he needed to extend the opening hours in order to make the business viable.

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