Operators in row over Blackpool lap dancing club licence

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A dispute over the future of a Blackpool lap-dancing club has triggered a battle over who has the right hold its licence.

David Moseley, who owns the premises on Queen Street occupied by Eden One, has applied to the council to have the club’s sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licence transferred to his company Pool Construction Ltd.

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Blackpool sex club dispute to be decided at town hall meeting

But Mark Newton already holds the licence through his company AA Recreation 1 Ltd and objected to the transfer.

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The Queen Street premisesThe Queen Street premises
The Queen Street premises

A meeting of the council’s public protection sub-committee, which met to consider the licence application, heard the two men had fallen out in a dispute over the lease of the property at 15 to 17 Queen Street where Eden One is based.

Mr Newton, who already holds two SEV licences including for Sinless on Central Promenade, and Mr Moseley failed to reach an agreement on the tenancy of the building.

Barrister Sarah Clover, representing Mr Moseley, said her client had had tenants for 11 years who had “operated the SEV satisfactorily”.

Mr Moseley had offered a similar tenancy agreement to Mr Newton but he had turned it down in order “to hold Mr Moseley to a commercial ransome”, she said.

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Ms Clover also suggested Mr Newton’s ultimate goal was to hold all four SEVs currently available in Blackpool.

Mr Moseley argued the licence should remain attached to the building which he owns, and he had lined up an experienced manager to take over the running of the lap dancing club.

But Mr Newton told the committee he could not agree to the terms of the lease offered to him by Mr Moseley because it meant he would have to give up his business interests in Eden One if he handed in the licence.

He said he had bought the business from its previous operators and planned to relocate it to neighbouring premises on Queen Street if he could not lease the property owned by Mr Moseley.

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Mr Newton’s solicitor Richard Williams said Mr Moseley was not suitable to hold the SEV licence due to previous transgressions relating to his business interests.

Mr Williams told councillors: “In terms of your policy, David Moseley is totally usuitable to be a licence holder regardless of what was going on behind the scenes regarding business negotiations.”

The meeting was adjourned to allow the sub-committee to consider its decision.

Eden was stripped of its SEV licence in July 2019 after a 25-year-old man on a stag do was torched by a dancer wielding an aerosol can and a lighter – leaving him in hospital suffering from second-degree burns to his torso.

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But following talks with the council around how the club would operate, it was allowed to re-open in January 2020.

However the club has not opened since Mr Newton took over the licence due to Covid lockdowns.

In January this year the council’s licensing committee agreed a new policy which would permit only one sex shop to trade, and set a zero limit on lap dancing clubs.

The resort’s existing four clubs can continue operating under their ‘grandfather rights’ but once existing licences lapse, for any reason, they would not be renewed.

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