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Agenda item


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


Mr Mark Newton, Director of AA Recreation 1 Ltd, attended with his legal representative, Mr Richard Williams, who presented the case on behalf of the applicant. The Sub-Committee was reminded that it first heard the application at its meeting on 8 September 2021 when it determined to defer its decision pending the outcome of an appeal by Pool Construction Ltd against the refusal to transfer the licence for 15-17 Queen Street due to concerns of potentially having two competing businesses adjacent to each other. That appeal remained outstanding and due to the time elapsed since first consideration the application had been brought back before the Sub-Committee for determination.


Mr Williams summarised the case on behalf of the applicant based on his written submissions, highlighting the Sub-Committee’s view from the initial hearing when it had not been persuaded at that time that Mr Newton was unsuitable to hold a SEV licence. Members were reminded that Mr Newton already operated similar venues in the town and had offered to surrender another licence operated by him at 169 Promenade, subject to the new licence being granted for 11-13 Queen Street, as he believed that Queen Street was a more appropriate location for a SEV.


Referring to the Council’s Sex Establishment Policy, Mr Williams considered that any decision should be based on the 2016 Policy which was in force when the application was made, not the subsequent 2021 Policy which determined that the number of Sex Establishments should be nil with the exception of renewal applications which benefited from grandfather rights. Mr Williams concluded by reminding Members of the four grounds for refusal available to the Sub-Committee under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. In his opinion, there was no valid reason to refuse the application and he therefore invited the Sub-Committee to grant the licence.


The objector to the application, Mr David Moseley, attended with his legal representative Ms Sarah Clover who presented the representations on his behalf. Ms Clover explained that the focus of the objection was based on the unsuitability of Mr Newton to hold a licence, suggesting that another licence for 15-17 Queen Street had previously been transferred to him in inappropriate circumstances when in her opinion Mr Newton had no right of occupation to that premises and had misled the Council in order to facilitate that transfer, thus making him unsuitable.


Referring to the Council’s Sex Establishment Policy, Ms Clover invited the Sub-Committee to base its decision on the current 2021 Policy which allowed for no new licences to be granted and cited case law which she believed stated that was the correct legal position. In regards to the offer from Mr Newton to surrender the existing licence for 169 Promenade subject to the application being granted, Ms Clover believed this was not a relevant incentive, reminding the Sub-Committee that it already had the power to refuse to renew that licence if it was minded that the Promenade was an unsuitable location. In her opinion, it would be inappropriate to have two competing venues next door to each other should the applications for both 11-13 and 15-17 Queen Street be granted and therefore invited Members to refuse the application.


Mr Ben Williams, Barrister on behalf of Blackpool Council, reminded Members that whilst it should have regard to the Policies in force both at the time of application and determination, it was not mandated to apply either policy and had discretionary grounds to grant an application should it be minded to do so.


The Sub-Committee carefully considered the information provided by both parties. It concluded that the application should be determined at the same time as the application for 15-17 Queen Street which had been deferred to a meeting on 2 August 2022 following Counsel advice to request additional information in respect of that case. Members therefore agreed to defer consideration of the application to the same meeting.



That consideration of whether or not to grant a new Sexual Entertainment Venue licence for 11-13 Queen Street be deferred until 2 August 2022.

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