A Rossendale club faces licensing action over alleged after-hours ‘lock-ins’, anti-social behaviour, drug-use and reported high school rumours that it allows under-age drinking.

Haslingden Trades Club, in Regent Street, is having its premises licence reviewed by Rossendale Council after a Lancashire Police request.

Public complaints and police visits are set out in a report to the council’s licensing committee which is to meet on January 11.

Lee Barrett is named as the premises licence holder, and Christopher Butterworth as the designated premises supervisor.

Representatives of the club will have the opportunity to put their versions of events to the committee on January 11.

Currently, no club statements are shown in Rossendale Council reports.

Police Sgt Stephen Dundon has sent information on behalf of Lancashire Police, listing complaints, allegations and police visits.

Sgt Dundon states: “Since July 2023,  police have received information and established through inspections that Haslingden Trades Club has been supplying alcohol, playing recorded music and remaining open outside of the hours permitted by their premises licence.”

Regarding public safety, he states: “Police found a ‘lock in’ and it took several minutes for the door to be opened and access allowed, which would have hindered any exit in an emergency.”

Regarding protecting children, he writes: "Information was received in September that there was going to be under-age drinking and a party in the premises one evening, and that it was a regular occurrence.”

In October, information was received alleging controlled drugs are used there, police add, and Rossendale Council has also received complaints regarding this.

Last summer, on July 8, police visited the club at 1am and found 10 people drinking inside.

It took several minutes for the door to be opened which was ‘clearly locked and bolted from inside’, they say.

The police add: “The person in charge at the time was later interviewed under caution and admitted they had been out drinking earlier that evening and were under the influence when they went back to the club.

"This demonstrates a clear lack of judgement and a poor attitude to responsibilities.

“Following this , the management were spoken to and it was established that the premises was operating without a premises licence because the licence holder and designated premises supervisor had passed away a few weeks previously.

"But no efforts had been made to ensure the premises was operating with a designated supervisor or licence.”

Formal action was taken against one member of staff who received a caution and advice, and a new supervisor was installed and premises licence granted.

Then on July 9, Sgt Gary Hennighan visited the club just after midnight. It was locked and in darkness, but eight people came and knocked on the door.

They were asked if they had come for a ‘lock in’ and replied they had. When told it wouldn’t be happening, they left, police say.

The police add: “There is clearly knowledge in the community that it is a venue to attend for a late drink.”

In September,  information was received that there was to be under-age drinking and a party on September 30.

The police add: “The informant stated it was the ‘word’ in a local high school that regular under-age drinking occurs at the premises.”

In October,  police received information a staff member was using ‘crack’ there while working.

Then in late October, police received an anonymous call just after 1am stating that were ongoing issues and local residents had ‘had enough’.

The caller also said an old people’s home was ‘fed-up’ with problems.

The police add: “The caller said issues happen every week. Two males and a female kicking the pub door had prompted their call.

"The caller said a male keeps the pub open after closing times and they have lock-ins with people inside ‘partying and causing a lot of racket’.

"The caller also said the premises was attracting a lot of ‘smack-heads’, people were leaving street litter and ‘trying’ car doors.”

On November 4, police found customers being supplied alcohol at 11.15pm.

The police statement adds: “It is clear the management have little or no understanding of the conditions on their premises licence.

"The way they have been operating is flouting conditions. They have been given advice and even enforcement action, but this has not led to improvement.

"Complaints are still being received and contraventions identified.”

Current premises supervisor Christopher Butterworth lives upstairs and was installed in July 2023 after it was identified the previous supervisor had died, police say.

Mr Butterworth was present during a police visit. He has held a personal licence since 2010 so should be well-aware of his obligations, police add.

Now, several options are available to Rossendale councillors, ranging from no action to a full revocation of the licence.

The police want extra conditions imposed as a minimum. Taking no action would send out the message that there are no consequences to repeated breaches, they have warned.

Rossendale environmental health officers support the review and received two complaints last year.

One resident stated : “Most of the time, it is open until 1am, [there are ] people screaming and swearing on the street long after opening times and loud music awakening me.”

Another stated: “Apparently it is now open until 2am. Before, it used to be 11pm.”