A music industry boss has called on Manchester council to buy the flat next door to Night & Day which complained about noise from the music venue. The Northern Quarter venue has appealed a noise abatement notice served by the council last year after a complaint from a couple who have now moved out.
The venue's owner told a court this week that the notice, which was served after council officers said they could hear high pitch vocals of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) from the flat, threatens the future of the family business. Manchester Magistrates' Court heard from the venue's acoustic expert who accused the council's planning department of failing to prevent the problem.
However, the council rejects the claim that the planning process which saw the Dale Street development approved in 2000 had been carried out incorrectly. The couple who complained have spent £21,000 on sound insulation so far, the court heard, but the bedrooms have been described as 'uninhabitable'.
READ MORE: Night and Day owner tells court in tears venue could close after noise complaint
But the court heard that the bedroom which shares a wall with the venue has 'poor' sound insulation and the only solution to this would be 'very expensive'. But Mark Davyd, who is the CEO of the Music Venue Trust, has put forward another proposal which Night & Day has said is a 'common-sense' solution.
Accusing the council of creating the problem, he called on the town hall to buy the apartment and make it available to the venue as artists' accommodation. The music industry boss who described himself as the top expert in this field, said on social media this is the only 'sensible way out' of the 'absurd situation'.
In a Twitter thread posted on Thursday (December 1), he said: "The building of this residence was a mistake. It should not exist. No Ifs. No Ands. No Buts.
Irrespective of subsequent errors made by the council in assessing the noise, no matter how tempting the urge to criticise the resident for buying a flat in this area, ignoring all the arguments about who should do what and when, that’s the actual answer. The creation of a flat directly behind a partition wall adjoining a live music venue should not have passed the planning process.
"The fault lies not with the music venue, who not only were there already but also objected to it being built, or the resident, who just wants to be able to sleep at night, or even, no really, the developer, who just wanted to make as much money as possible - that’s their job. The fault lies with Manchester City Council.
"They are the planning authority who permitted it to be built. The Council are responsible and they can and should resolve it."
Mr Davyd argued that the couple behind the noise complaint, who have moved out of the flat which has been left empty, must want to sell and be done with it. It comes after one of the residents told the court that the media coverage of the case had 'consumed' his partner who became a 'recluse' and lost 30kg.
They moved out in May because they felt 'very uncomfortable' in Manchester. Mr Davyd said the flat can be bought for £500,000, claiming that is how much losing Night & Day would cost the city in economic activity every five months.
He argues this would be the cheapest way to solve the problem permanently. He added: "They can go on wasting ratepayers money on a case which should never have been brought, undermining a hugely important and iconic local venue, and risking the cultural future of the city. Or they can take decisive action and end this. "
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Council officers told the court they do not intend to close the venue and would work with the owners if the notice is upheld, rather than seeking prosecution. Licensing officer Ben Moran confirmed that there have been no more noise complaints in the 12 months since the notice was served in November 2021.
However, when asked why the town hall is spending 'thousands' of pounds of public money in court rather than withdrawing the notice, the council officer said the venue must first taken some steps to address the noise nuisance. According to Manchester council's records, no objections were received in relation to the planning application for the development of the flat in question.
Responding to Mr Davyd's proposal to buy the flat, a Manchester council spokesperson said: "Given that the trial is still under way it would not be appropriate for the Council to comment on any specifics regarding this case."
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