Make Some Noise: Licence review victory after council failed to soundproof flats

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sound

Night & Day argued that the council made 'severe errors'
Night & Day argued that the council made 'severe errors'
A Manchester music venue has won a licence review after claiming the council made “severe errors” in failing to install soundproofing in a neighbouring residential flat.

Night & Day Café faced a hearing last month after noise complaints from one neighbour, who has since moved out.

The outlet escaped being imposed with a noise limiter, which the licensee said would impact on the quality of the music. However, three new conditions were added to the licence stating that the licensee must meet with residents every three months; there must be a contact number for a responsible person at the venue for residents; and the licensee must maintain a complaints log.

Night & Day had already installed acoustic flooring and mounted speakers on rubber to limit noise disturbance.

'Severe errors'

LR Law solicitor Richard Williams, who represented the venue at the hearing, said: “Our take on it was that the council made severe errors when it granted planning consent [in 1998 for the flat next door].

“The acoustic report that was prepared didn’t take into account the live music next door, even though the licensee had made representations to the planning application. So the building was essentially built with no soundproofing from the activity next door.”

Kings Chambers barrister Sarah Clover, who also worked on behalf of the venue, criticised the council for taking the premises to licence review before magistrates had looked into the venue’s appeal on the noise abatement notice, which was eventually withdrawn.

'Classic scenario'

“If noise nuisance issue is a matter of dispute would you not wait for magistrates to come back with a conclusion before slapping a review on premises?,” she said.

“The pressure on these people has been extraordinary. It’s a classic scenario of a live music venue that has been there a long time, is part of the character of the locality, and only one person has complained.”

Gareth Butterworth, in-house promoter for the 23-year-old venue, said: “I was pleased with the outcome but we were extremely disappointed that it got to that because we had to spend tens of thousands of pounds on the case.”

Manchester City Council failed to provide a comment.

Join campaign to change the law

The Make Some Noise campaign aims to unite the industry to fight for a fair hearing for pubs in disputes over noise complaints.

We believe residents moving near a pub with a history of hosting live music should show due respect and ensure their home is soundproofed.

If you have a story to tell email or call her on 01293 610305.

To join in the debate, tweet us with the hashtag #pubsnoise or post a message on our facebook page.

Related topics Licensing law Legislation

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