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Club boss in fury over late drinks ban

A CLUB boss has hit back after his bid to serve late drinks was thrown out of a licensing court.

REFUSED a late licence ... the Oaklea Club
REFUSED a late licence ... the Oaklea Club

A CLUB boss has hit back after his bid to serve late drinks was thrown out of a licensing court.

Licensee Paul Humphries, who runs the Oaklea Club on Whalley Road, Accrington, is considering taking legal action after Hyndburn licensing committee refused his application to serve drinks until 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Residents living near the club, slammed the application during a lengthy, hearing saying their peace would be shattered by taxis, noisy customers leaving the club and music.

Mr Humphries, said: "We are presently seeking counsel's opinion regarding a Crown Court appeal as this is certainly not the end of the matter."

In November councillors threw out his bid for a public entertainment licence but this was challenged in court and won on appeal.

He said: "We are clearly disappointed with the outcome of the latest hearing. Our members, many of whom are retired and professional people, have reacted angrily to the ridiculous claims made by the objectors against them.

"We lodged 17 letters of support from the people who live directly next to the four objectors' addresses, all contradicting their claims. The police have received no complaints and did not oppose our application. We have acted honestly and with integrity throughout."

Mr Humphries, 48, of Moss Hall Road, Accrington, also revealed he has monitored taxis outside the club and none used their horn. He said: "I have written to all the taxi firms in the area to inform the drivers not to sound their horns outside my club. I just won't stand for it."

He said he was not going to accept defeat as he also held many charity events and said he was willing to discuss the matter with residents.

He said: "If they had said instead of 12.30am, you can serve drinks until midnight or 11.45pm we would have said okay. If we are going to appeal we want to go along the lines of resolving this situation with the residents. We are willing to sit down and thrash things out."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist