Two gay venues face closure in Birmingham

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Two of Birmingham’s most popular gay venues face closure after what the owners’ claim is “targeting” by property developers and the police.

Cosby Homes, a development company has complained to the local council that the Nightingale, the biggest gay club in the area, emits too much noise and holds “unauthorised adult entertainment.”

The complaint comes six months after they were turned down to develop 162 flats on land close to the venue. Crosby Homes are appealing the rejection.

David Fazakerley, a Nightingale director, told the Birmingham Mail: “Crosby didn’t get their own way with the council over planning permission, so now they are putting pressure on the club. It’s scandalous.

“We’re a regulated and constituted club which has operated in Birmingham for nearly 40 years in an industrial entertainment zone.”

The club does host regular “porn nights” and often promotes male strippers. It now faces a license review.

Labour councillor Steve Bedser, who is a regular at the club said: “If you’re setting about creating a city centre renaissance, where part of the dream you are selling is about incorporating urban living, it is hugely disingenuous for developers to make a quick profit and then moan about noise nuisance.

“If you want a tranquil idyllic lifestyle, go and live in the countryside.”

John Brown, Crosby Homes told the Birmingham Mail: “Crosby understands the significance of of the Nightingale as a flagship venue for the gay village. It does not wish to undermine the venue’s right to operate in a commercial manner.”

Meanwhile, nearby gay venue, the Fountain faces its license being revoked after police say they found crime and disorder and child protection issues at the venue.

Police Superintendent Jim Titley said “We apologise for what we feel has been a breakdown in communications with the gay community, but we had no choice but to refer the Fountain to the licensing committee.

“This is a requirement whenever a serious breach of licensing regulations has taken place.”

Birmingham Police Forum for the Gay Community member defended the Fountain: “The pub has no history of problems, in fact it’s the kind of place that many people take their mothers to.”