Blackpool bar appeals council order forcing it to shut early

Kaos on Queen Street, Blackpool, saw 284 police call outs to the bar over 12 months from August 2021 to August 2022

Kaos bar on Queen Street, Blackpool (Image: LDRS)

A further hearing is to be held after a Blackpool bar has challenged a council ruling to cut back its licensing hours in reponse to fears about rowdy behaviour at the premises.

Kaos on Queen Street is the only venue in the resort currently allowed to stay open until 5am every day. But following a town hall licensing hearing in December, it was ordered to stop serving alcohol at 2.30am.

Following the submission of an appeal against the decision, a three day hearing has now been scheduled to start on June 9 at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court. In the meantime the bar is allowed to continue trading under its existing hours until the appeal has been decided.

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Operator Neil Cropper appeared before the licensing panel made up of councillors after the police had submitted evidence to the council warning the venue had become “a magnet for crime and disorder”.

The police said officers responded to 284 call outs to the bar over 12 months from August 2021 to August 2022, adding more than twice as many assaults were reported at Kaos than any other venue in Blackpool.

Officers had called for the licence to be revoked, but councillors decided to reduce the licensing hours instead because they felt trouble mainly broke out between 3am and 5am and “therefore revocation would be a disproportionate response”.

Mr Cropper had told the hearing Kaos operated as a venue for the LGBT community from opening time, but in the early hours of the morning the customer profile started to change. From 2am it operated primarily as a ‘straight’ venue with a last admission time of 4.30am.

  • 05:45, 11 FEB 2023