Sex club can sell alcohol

Connections Loco Club, Ribble Road, Blackpool
Connections Loco Club, Ribble Road, Blackpool
Have your say

Town hall chiefs have granted an alcohol licence for a new swingers club in Blackpool despite objections from residents.

A council licensing panel agreed Chris Maher can sell booze at the premises inside the former Loco Club on Back Ribble Road in the town.

But on Fridays and Saturdays, alcohol can only be served until midnight, not 2am as asked for.

Conditions demanded by the police, including that CCTV must be operated, must also be adhered to as part of the licence.

These also include that signage must be ‘discreet’ and there can be no advertisements ‘unsuitable to be viewed by children’.

Ward councillor Graham Cain had told the hearing there were fears the use of the club could lead to an increase in prostitution in the area, and concerns were raised about children coming into contact with people using the premises.

But the panel warned the licence could be reviewed if residents fears about prostitution materialised.

The decision notice stated the “panel’s role today is not to decide whether this venue can operate as an adult only members club as this in itself is not licensable.

“There is no suggestion that the activities taking place there will be unlawful, indeed the police have agreed a large number of conditions with the applicant.”

But they added: “The panel are obviously concerned by the problems the area suffers with prostitution.

“Whilst the panel feels that there was no evidence before them to make the link between the use of the premises and an increase in prostitution, if this does turn out to be the case then the review process can be used to reconsider the licence.”

Mr Maher previously operated a gay sauna in Egerton RoadNorth Shore, for more than three years before it closed.

He has described his clientele as respectable people, ‘some with very high powered jobs’, who prefer their privacy and discretion.

Among the conditions applied to the licence are that alcohol can only be served to people who have been members of the club for at least 24 hours, a list of the names and addresses of all members must be kept on the premises and produced on demand for inspection by an authorised officer.

No person under the age of 21 will be allowed in, and “any exterior signage shall be discreet and shall not display any imagery that suggests or indicates relevant entertainment takes place at the premises”.

The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal the decision.

Read more about the Loco Club here