A DENTON-BASED sex club has been closed down after a joint investigation involving police, fire and council officers.
Issues at Advocates House on Market Street, which hosts The Kink Society, in how people can escape a blaze or even raise the alarm were identified on an initial prohibition notice placed on Advocates House.
But it has now been revealed complaints made by residents that alleged unlicensed activities and the presence of a ‘dungeon’ in the basement where alleged sexual activity was taking place led to the action.
Police arrested the occupier/manager of the premises, who had breached an order whilst on licence. Their investigation is continuing.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service served the prohibition notice to restrict access to the premises on the grounds of no working fire detection in place at the premises and no separation between commercial and residential areas.
A notice posted on the door of the building, which lies next to the former site of the Denton’s market, explains the reasons for the closure by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
On it, it states the ‘commercial building used as a sex club on the basement and ground floor,’ had a number of faults.
They include: “Inadequate means of escape from the basement level of Advocates House. Inadequate means of raising the alarm in the event of a fire.”
It adds: “The basement level is not to be used for any purposes. The ground floor level is not to be used for sleeping purposes until the matter specified have been remedied.”
The notice, issued yesterday (Wednesday, September 22), also states the minimum that needs to be done at Advocates House for the issues to be remedied.
It says: “Provide adequate means of escape in the event of a fire from the basement level. Provide adequate means of raising the alarm in the event of a fire.”
Tameside Council says it is also investigating other alleged unlicensed activity and change of use of the premises.
Executive member responsible for enforcement, Cllr Allison Gwynne, said: “We take complaints from residents very seriously and this premises was clearly causing a serious concern in the neighbourhood.
“I’m pleased our joint enforcement visit with our police and fire service partners has resulted in the premises being closed down while further investigations continue.
“Most businesses are happy to work closely with the council and other public agencies to ensure they comply with regulations. Where businesses don’t comply, we will work with our partners to take the appropriate enforcement action.”
Chief Inspector Lee Broadstock, of Greater Manchester Police’s Tameside division, said: “This premises was causing serious concern within the neighbourhood area.
“Thanks to the multi-agency approach taken, this premises is now closed and enforcement action is being progressed.
“This shows that we take robust action and use our full partnership powers to keep our neighbourhoods safe.”
Paul Fearnhead, head of protection at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Working closely with the council and police, we have acted on fire safety concerns, resulting in robust action being taken to keep people safe.
“GMFRS takes all breaches of fire safety extremely seriously and will take enforcement action where necessary to protect our communities.”
The Kink Society, which operates from 8am seven days a week, describes itself as a ‘private social club and safe space haven for members of the LGBT+ community to congregate and meet without the dangers of victimisation, bullying or prejudice.’