A French businessman has accused the authorities in Paris of victimisation after a court refused to allow him to build a gay nightclub.

France 24 reports the Paris Administrative Court decided to overturn two building permits that would have allowed the construction of a two-floor gay nightclub.

It based its decision not on the residents’ complaint that noise from the venue would be a nuisance, but on a technicality instead.

Judges said the nightclub owners did not fully comply with procedure when applying for the building permits.

Jean-Bernard Meneboo, one of the businessmen behind the project, said he and his partners have been unfairly singled out, and suffered pressure from local police authorities before the court’s decision.

It’s not a coincidence that before the ruling another restaurant we own lost its license to operate at night. We have been the victim of constant threats, and this ruling has come down in a particularly tense atmosphere,” he said.

The court also awarded 6,000 euros in damages to the residents. Meneboo said his business partners were still considering whether to appeal the court’s decision.

The site of the proposed nightclub is a former art gallery in the heart of the historic Marais neighbourhood near Paris’s city hall.