Fire rules hit club

THE party may soon be over for swingers who frequent a controversial naturist spa. The Maltings Spa in Baldock, home to Surburban Swingers UK, was investigated recently for alcohol licence purposes. It was granted a licence but fire officers found fault i

THE party may soon be over for swingers who frequent a controversial naturist spa.

The Maltings Spa in Baldock, home to Surburban Swingers UK, was investigated recently for alcohol licence purposes.

It was granted a licence but fire officers found fault in the spa's fire and safety procedures and have shut four of the massage rooms down.

A full closure of the club may soon follow as the construction work to make it safe will be costly and the adjoining Kingsleys Snooker Club has also vacated the building after problems with its licence.

Building owner Don Thomas said: "I am looking for new premises for the health club anyway.

"We are making an application to turn them into apartments and I've been told that it's an acceptable area for that to happen.

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"I know we are not allowed to use a couple of the treatment rooms.

"Nothing has changed dramatically since the last 20 years we have been open.

"Why haven't they inspected it before? What's caused this sudden inspection?"

Baldock residents were shocked when The Comet revealed the swinging events that took place at the Maltings Spa off Hitchin Street.

And after campaigning against

the licence they will be relieved if the order results in the full closure of the spa.

A spokesman for Herts County Council said: "The prohibition order was issued under article 31 of the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety Order 2005).

"Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service use the powers of article 31 when we have concerns that people on the premises were being put at serious risk of injury or death from fire.

"These powers are not used lightly and we make every effort to work with the owner to have the notice lifted and ensure the ongoing safety of both employees and members of the public.

"The inspecting fire officer was concerned that there were no fire alarms, emergency lighting or satisfactory fire fighting equipment and unsatisfactory means of escape.

"If a fire had occurred on the first floor it would be likely that people would have been at significant risk and, due to the nature of the building, there was an increased likelihood of a fire starting and rapid fire spread.