Sauna plan backing

The Honeycombe sauna, Egerton Rd, Blackpool and (below) Chris Maher.
The Honeycombe sauna, Egerton Rd, Blackpool and (below) Chris Maher.
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A CONTROVERSIAL gay sauna looks set to win its battle for later opening hours.

The Honeycombe on Egerton Road, North Shore, has previously lost bids for a late night drinks licence and for planning permission to extend its operating hours to 3am.

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

But a revised application to the council seeking permission to be allowed to open until 11pm on weekdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays is being recommended for approval.

The venue currently operates daily until 8pm.

A report to Blackpool Council’s planning committee says: “It is suggested the hours proposed would be an acceptable compromise between the applicant’s ambition for the business and the need to protect the amenities of neighbours.”

The applicant has also signed an agreement with the council to undertake measures designed to limit potential noise nuisance and disturbance for residents of the area.

Honeycombe’s owner Chris Maher has previously asked to open the sauna until 3am on weekends but was turned down by planners in September.

This followed an earlier refusal by the council’s licensing committee to grant a drinks licence to the premise which would have allowed him to sell alcohol until 1am four days a week, and until 3am from Thursday to Saturday.

Mr Maher says he needs to increase the operating hours in order to ensure the club is a viable business.

The report to councillors, who are due to meet on Monday to discuss the application, adds “the hours proposed would now be more neighbourly and would have a reduced potential for impact on neighbouring residential amenity.”

But Coun Ivan Taylor, ward councillor for Claremont, which includes Egerton Road, said he was still opposed to the application.

He said: “The building was originally given planning permission as a daytime operation as a sauna and that’s what I think it should remain.

“Later opening hours are just not compatible with this area where many young families live.”

The later operating hours would not allow alcohol to be sold. A separate application would have to be made to the council for an alcohol licence.

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