Popular Manchester music venue Night & Day has been called to what the Manchester Evening News calls a “crunch licensing hearing” as it continues to tackle complaints from neighbours over noise levels. According to the MEN, the venue stands accused of repeatedly breaching a noise abatement notice issue by Manchester City Council. The venue said “The council have made an unprecedented move to review our licence before we have had the opportunity to appeal the Noise Abatement Notice in front of an independent judge in court”. Recently, and after a spate of threatened closures including the Fleece in Bristol, and the Boilerroom in Guildford , Mark Davyd, the founder of the Music Venue Trust, has warned of a ‘tsunami’ of noise abatement orders against venues and called for ‘common sense’ approach to resolve issues – often caused by new developments alongside pre-existing and often much loved music venues – wit Davyd adding ‘if you hate music – why move next to a music venue?’. The MVT has called for the reform of existing legislation, which it says is unfair to music venues and is liaising with Save Live Music Australia which has fought a successful campaign against opportunistic developers down under.
The Boilerroom venue in Guildford faces the prospect of losing its licence because a newish neighbour – who chose to move into a property next to a performance space – filed a complaint with the local council, following on from complaints against The Blind Tiger in Brighton – as well as the now seemingly solved threat to the Ministry Of Sound in London. the operators of The Boilerroom
‘Guildford’s only alternative and independent live music venue’ said at the time “Our family run venue was opened in 2006, and is managed by a collective of people who believe the venue provides a much needed creative space for the local community; encouraging and supporting local bands and nurturing upcoming talent” adding “Our fairly new neighbours, who rent the house adjacent to the venue, have put in an application to review our license, with the direct intention and request that the council revoke our license with immediate effect. Their message is very clear: they want to shut us down. They believe we are in breach of our license conditions. We believe we manage the venue to a high standard with significant consideration for the local community”. A petition was been launched to support the Bolilerroom and a separate petition calling on then Secretary Of State For The Environment Owen Paterson to “carry out an urgent review of noise abatement legislation” which is threatening grass roots venues who enjoy good relations with the vast majority of their neighbours” was launched.
In a separate case, Lord Neuberger expressed grave concern at a £1 million legal bill run up by a couple who objected to noise from the Fen Tiger’s speedway stadium near Mildenhall in Suffolk. The case, which went to the Supreme Court, ended in victory for Lawrence and Raymond Shields when the Supreme Court reinstated £20,000 compensation, but this was dwarved by legal costs of £1,076,000. Under an earlier ruling the stadium operators will have to pay 60% of the legal costs. The couple’s house is worth less than the remaining £400,000 they will have to meet and the stadium operators are appealing the award of costs.