Heywood business closed after breaching Covid-19 regulations

Date published: 12 August 2020

A business in Heywood has been forced to close by Rochdale Council following multiple breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

The closure direction was served to Grey Area Party Room on Friday 7 August for one month.

The party venue, which also owns a party bus, was being hired out for functions and parties despite these activities being banned by Covid-19 regulations.

The business owners, Mr Lancaster and Ms Hanley, admitted that the premises was open and allowing large gatherings to take place.

The direction means the business is not allowed to operate until 7 September.

Rochdale Council first received complaints about noise from the venue during lockdown in May 2020.

The council and Greater Manchester Police visited and contacted the business in June and July to provide advice and guidance to the operators about compliance with Covid-19 regulations. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also identified fire safety risks that needed to be immediately addressed.

Despite multiple interventions another party was reported on Saturday 1 August and the closure direction was served. The fire safety issues had also not been dealt with.

Councillor Sara Rowbotham, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Given the high rates of cases in our borough it is more important than ever that everyone plays their part in ensuring we act responsibly to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Thanks to excellent partnership working with GMP we are taking action against anyone who shows blatant disregard for the safety of our residents.”

Inspector Andrew Fern of GMP’s Rochdale division said: “We have been working closely alongside local authorities and partner agencies since the start of Covid-19 to support issues and protect the people of Rochdale.

“With current restrictions in place across the whole of Greater Manchester, we need to ensure that the safety of our communities is our top priority.

“We will continue to engage, explain and encourage the public to comply with the measures but those who continue to flout the rules will face enforcement action.”

Rochdale Council’s public protection team has received a total of 866 enquiries about Covid-19 since March. Of those, 564 were complaints about premises not complying with Covid-19 rules and lack of social distancing. The team has issued 32 warnings and has only needed to execute one business closure.

To report a business breaching Covid-19 regulations email Rochdale Council’s public protection team at

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