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Agenda item


To consider an application by AA Recreation 1 Ltd for a new Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for Dreams, 11-13 Queen Street, Blackpool.


The Sub-Committee considered an application by AA Recreation 1 Ltd for a new Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for Dreams, 11 – 13 Queen Street, Blackpool.


Mr Mark Newton of AA Recreation 1 Ltd was in attendance with his legal representative Mr Richard Williams. The objector to the application Mr David Moseley attended with his legal representative Ms Sarah Clover.


Members were first asked to determine whether to consider the late objection to the application. Mr Williams explained that the objection had been submitted almost eight weeks after the expiry of the statutory objection period and suggested the submission was a trade objection prompted by the decision of the Sub-Committee on 22 June 2021 to refuse an application by Mr Moseley’s company to transfer another Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for 15-17 Queen Street from Mr Newton’s company. He reminded Members that no other objections had been received and invited the Sub-Committee to use their discretion to not consider the objection when determining the application.


In response Ms Clover explained that the objection had been submitted as a result of concerns identified by Mr Moseley and Ms Clover at the June meeting of the Sub-Committee in respect of Mr Newton’s operational intentions and that the granting of the application would be contrary to Blackpool Council’s Sex Establishment Policy which limited the number of Sexual Entertainment Venues. She reminded the Sub-Committee of their discretionary powers to allow late objections and argued that if the objection was not considered it would deprive the Sub-Committee of information which would be important to its decision making process.


The Sub-Committee noted the information provided by both parties and concluded that considering the information provided in the objection would allow it to make a more informed decision. It therefore agreed to use its discretion and allow the objection to be considered.


Mr Williams outlined the case on behalf of the applicant. Members were advised that the proposed premises was in the main entertainment area of the town centre which Mr Newton considered appropriate for such a venue and that he had met with the Police, Licensing Service and Planning Department who had not expressed any concerns, nor had any objections been received from members of the public. The Sub-Committee were advised that Mr Newton already operated a number of other similar venues in the town and should therefore be considered a suitable operator due to his experience in the sector.


Referring to the grounds for refusal available to the Sub-Committee under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1982, Mr Williams argued that the only possible grounds would be that the granting of the licence would exceed the limit of four Sexual Entertainment Venues set by Blackpool Council’s Sex Establishment Policy. To avoid exceeding that limit, Mr Newton offered to surrender another licence held by his company for Heaven at 169 Promenade and produced a discretionary cancellation in writing, conditional on the Sub-Committee granting the new licence for 11-13 Queen Street. Addressing the Members directly, Mr Newton considered that taking away a Sexual Entertainment Venue from the Promenade would be beneficial to the town by removing it from a family area and instead opening a venue in the night time entertainment zone which he believed was a more suitable area.


Ms Clover responded on behalf of the objector, Mr Moseley, who suggested that it would be unsuitable for Mr Newton to hold all but one of the Sexual Entertainment Venue licences in Blackpool. In addition, Mr Moseley considered Mr Newton’s existing venues to be in poor condition and in need of reinvestment and the application submitted was not believed to be sufficiently detailed, lacking information such as a business plan or proposed house rules and policies for the venue.


Referring to the proposal from Mr Newton to surrender the licence for Heaven, 169 Promenade, on condition that this application was granted, Ms Clover invited the Sub-Committee to consider the complications of potentially having two Sexual Entertainment Venues next to each other on Queen Street should the application be granted. The Sub-Committee were reminded that an appeal was ongoing in respect of its decision to refuse the transfer of a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for 15-17 Queen Street from a company operated by Mr Newton to one operated by Mr Moseley. Members were encouraged to refuse the application on the basis that the grant of a new licence next to an existing Sexual Entertainment Venue at 15-17 Queen Street would be an unsuitable location, and Ms Clover argued that the grant of one licence conditional on the surrender of another would be unlawful.


The Sub-Committee carefully considered the information provided by both parties. It was not persuaded by the argument that a company under the control of Mr Newton was unsuitable to hold a licence, noting that he was an experienced operator and that neither the Police nor the Licensing Service had objected to the application. Whilst the offer to surrender the licence for Heaven on the Promenade was thought to be a positive move, concerns were expressed in relation to the potential of having two competing Sexual Entertainment Venues adjacent to each other on Queen Street. Members therefore concluded that they should defer their consideration until after the appeal in respect of the transfer of the licence for 15-17 Queen Street had been determined.



1.      That the late objection attached to the agenda as Appendix 4b be considered and that the objector be permitted to make representations at this meeting of the Sub-Committee.

2.      That the consideration of whether or not to grant a new Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for 11-13 Queen Street be deferred until after the appeal in respect of the transfer of the Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for 15-17 Queen Street has been determined.

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