New swingers’ club in row over booze bid

The Loco Club on Ribble Road, pictured in 2015
The Loco Club on Ribble Road, pictured in 2015
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A swingers’ club boss has vowed to take on the council if he is denied a licence to serve alcohol.

Chris Maher plans to open the Loco Connections Club, in Ribble Road, but faces opposition over fears it will attract prostitutes and disturb residents.

In a written objection, Coun Graham Cain said ‘lewd and offensive’ conversations may be overheard by neighbours and warned of ‘moral physiological harm’ to children.

“The building is ready to open,” Mr Maher said. “If the council say I can’t have a license I will take them to court. I want a licence purely and simply to control the consumption of alcohol.”

He wants to sell alcohol and play recorded music at the historic former LMC Loco Club which went into administration in 2014.

Previously a working men’s club, it now has a sauna, jacuzzi, gym, and showers, as well as a dance floor and lounge area.

Blackpool Council’s licensing panel, which will meet to discuss Mr Maher’s bid on Thursday, will hear the bid should be rejected ‘on behalf of the residents’.

Coun Cain wrote: “The protection of children from harm is much wider than just preventing entry into these premises.

“The rumour and speculation about what goes on in this premises will no doubt become a talking point in every house hold in the area with parents finding themselves in an
awkward and embarrassing position.”

He said the club is sited ‘literally yards’ away from residential properties.

Other objections include out-of-town clients getting lost and disturbing neighbours due to a lack of signs and ‘a demand for prostitution’ from customers ‘in search of sexual activity’.

Mr Maher, who had a gay sauna in Egerton Road for over three years before it closed, dismissed those claims and said the council should welcome any boost for tourism.

He said his clientele would be ‘respectable people’ who value their privacy and discretion.

And he said he was ‘surprised’ by the ‘unfounded’ objections’.

The club has been soundproofed and can hold 160 people, he said, fewer than the 430 he said the working men’s club catered for.

“There is no activity that takes place outside, none whatsoever,” he added. “At Egerton Road I did not receive one single notice about noise or disturbance. I received no complaints from the police, and the police have no objection to this application.”