Blackpool nightclub’s bid to open until 6am is refused

Mark Nordwind outside Home and HQ
Mark Nordwind outside Home and HQ
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The operators of a Blackpool nightclub have lost their bid to open until 6am after police warned the move would spread existing alcohol-fuelled violence to another part of the town centre.

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A town hall licensing panel rejected an application by the owners of Home and HQ to extend the hours they could serve alcohol by two hours on Friday and Saturday nights.

Councillors were told the change would also mean the night time economy would be “creeping closer to the daytime economy.”

But the club’s owners said the later hours were necessary to attract ‘superstar’ DJs, some of whom charge £20,000 for a two-hour set.

Mike Nordwind, of Nordwind Developments, said: “We are here because we are trying to get in line with Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds nightclubs.

“We are in a world of superstar DJs. A lot of the fees they charge are exorbitant but these are the times we live in.

“Blackpool is classed as the number one destination in the UK, and we have to live up to that.”

The application to extend sales of alcohol from 4am to 6am was for the HQ part of the venue which opened 18 months ago following a £1.5m investment.

The club’s operators said they had shown they had strong security measures in place and a good CCTV system.

But licensing chiefs said while the club was one of the best run in the town, if it opened later their concern was the impact on the surrounding area.

It was feared the outcome would be to spread drunken disorder to Talbot Square because of the number of take-aways in the area which act as a magnet for unruly crowds.

Police were already stretched dealing with fights in Dickson Road due to the high number of clubbers leaving Flamingo’s and Kaos, which already serve alcohol until 5am.

Blackpool licensing sergeant Helen Parkinson said: “We can’t provide two full teams for the night shift just so people can drink extra and act like idiots.”

Council licensing chief Mark Marshall said: “My fear is the problems at Dickson Road will just shift to Talbot Square.”

The panel rejected the application using the town’s cumulative impact policy which means venues must prove their proposals will not lead to a further burden on policing.

Chairman Coun Adrian Hutton said a variation to the licence would not be granted.

He said: “We have taken into account it is in the saturation zone and we don’t think you have demonstrated sufficient exceptional circumstances to vary the policy.”

Nordwind Developments has 21 days to appeal.