The owner of a church and events venue has been convicted for failing to comply with a council’s breach of condition notice.

Fouad ‘Freddy’ Khattab, 53, pleaded guilty at trial at Burnley Magistrates’ Court to failing to comply with a breach of condition notice and was ordered to pay costs and a fine.

Rossendale Borough Council brought the prosecution against Khattab, the owner of The Circle (St Johns Church) in Bacup after they received a report in June 2022 stating that the premises was to hold an event after 6pm.

On further investigation it was found that several events had been held after 6pm, a closing time given by the council in accordance with planning permission.

In holding an event after 6pm Khattab contravened an earlier planning condition which stated there should be no events at the premises after 6pm unless secondary glazing was fully installed due to noise pollution for the neighbouring properties.

Last year, Khattab transformed the Grade II listed church into an arts, culture and events space after years of planning.

The Circle officially opened in May 2022, bringing a pizzeria, events space, new café, a cinema and more to the community.

Khattab applied to Rossendale Council on multiple occasions for permission to transform the former church into an events and arts space, but was met with rejection amid concerns over parking and noise.

His application was overwhelmingly approved in December 2021 with only two councillors opposing the plans.

In August 2022, The Circle was granted a full premises licence by Rossendale Council which stipulated that once all secondary or acoustic glazing had been fully installed in accordance with planning requirements, The Circle would be allowed to open from 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am until 11pm on Saturdays, and 10am until 9pm on Sundays.

CCTV must be installed in the building, there must be no gaming machines of any category and Khattab must employ registered door staff for every 100 to 199 people.

Khattab also applied to vary the condition in respect of the opening times but this was refused in Octber 2022. 

After pleading guilty, magistrates ordered Khattab, of St John The Evangelist, Burnley Road, Bacup, to pay a total of £1525.98 that included a £270 fine, £108 victim surcharge and costs of £1147.98.

A spokesperson for Rossendale Council said: “We are pleased this decision was upheld and the defendant was issued with a fine and ordered to pay costs.

“Mr Khattab was given the opportunity to comply with the condition but after failing to do so we were given no choice but to initiate legal proceedings.

“The council takes the enforcement of planning conditions seriously, they are there for a reason, and it’s important we send the message that we will take action where necessary.

“Conditions such as these are there to protect the whole community.”