I won’t close, says sauna boss

Blackpool Connections and (below) Chris Maher.
Blackpool Connections and (below) Chris Maher.
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A sauna boss who was threatened with closure after the council accused him of running a swingers club without permission has said he has no plans to shut his doors.

Earlier this month, a council enforcement notice was served on a property on Egerton Road that has been operating a “mixed sauna” under the name of Blackpool Connections.

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

However, owner Chris Maher insists the business, which advertises group sex and adult “playrooms catering for every sexuality and preference” on its website, has been operating within the terms of his licence and he intends to appeal the notice.

He said: “The council cannot take any action until the appeal has been decided so it’s will be down to the secretary of state.

“It can take up to 12 months for that to go through and in the meantime I am not closing down.” He also said he plans to update his website to remove any mention of the phrase “swingers club”.

He added: “Maybe I made a mistake there. From now on it will refer to the building being a mixed sauna.”

But he insisted that many of the activities the go on inside the club will continue.

Mr Maher said: “I have no control over that.

“My customers are consenting adults and nobody can come in unless they are over 21.”

The enforcement notice was issued after the club was found to be operating outside the hours of its licence, which allow it to open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

It also said the building is being used a swingers club, which is not covered by the existing planning permission to run the premises as a sauna.

But Mr Maher said he had not been made aware of any complaints made about his business’ opening hours and claimed no action had been taken when the building was run as a gay sauna prior to him taking over.

He said: “Why did the council close its eyes to it when it was a gay establishment but not now?”

A spokesman for Blackpool Council said: “A council spokesman said: “Mr Maher has the right to appeal the decision made by the Council and, if he chooses to do so, we will present our case to the Planning Inspectorate.”

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