A town centre bar has been granted permission to temporarily open until 6am, despite warnings from police the move could lead to an increase in alcohol-fuelled violence.
Buzz Bar on Dickson Road, which is owned by Basil Newby, has secured the later hours for this weekend and next.
Mr Newby applied for temporary events notices to extend the hours for booze from the regular 3am on Saturdays and 4am on Sundays.
But Blackpool police objected amid fears the move will lead to more drunken behaviour.
Licensing sergeant Helen Parkinson saidthere had been four serious incidents in that area of town after 6am since the start of the year. They included two large fights in Dickson Road in April, which involved between 20 and 30 people. A fight between two men on Sunday, April 29, involved a brick being used as a weapon, and during an attack on Sunday, January 28, a man suffered a head wound after being punched.
Sgt Parkinson said: “The area at the top of Dickson Road and Queen Street is particularly problematic and is causing many incidents of crime and disorder. We have got to the point of how much are we willing to risk the safety of the public?”
Solicitor Paul Henocq, for Buzz Bar, in the Funny Girls building, told the hearing the incidents all happened outside the venue’s curtilage.
He said the later opening time was partly wanted because Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, is Blackpool Pride weekend.
Mr Newby, who also attended the hearing, said later hours were necessary to compete with other venues.
He said: “The benefit to the town is a lot of Manchester people, where they have 24-hour licences, don’t come here because we close earlier. “The bars are open until 4am so they are keeping people in longer, so we go for later licences because the clubs are suffering.” The panel, chaired by Coun David Collett, agreed to grant the applications but said the venue must consider the issues raised by the police. Council solicitor Sharon Davies said: “The panel does not feel there is a significant risk of additional crime and disorder by allowing the notices to go ahead. “But the management team has been made aware of the risks police have identified and the panel hopes they will take this into account.”