Manchester concert hall must return to court to appeal noise reduction notice | Manchester
Manchester’s much-loved music venue Night & Day will be back in court this week to appeal against a noise reduction notice filed by an adjacent apartment.
The owner of the bar, which has been part of the city’s Northern Quarter for 30 years, is taking Manchester City Council (MCC) to court in the hope that he will drop the notice served 18 months ago.
Jennifer Smithson, who inherited the business from her father, Jan Oldenberg, said if the notice was not revoked after the two-day hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court which begins on Tuesday, then Night & Day could be at risk of closure.
Although the noise ban only affects after-hours DJ sets, not live bands before midnight, Smithson said those club nights were essential to the bar’s financial survival.
She said she was surprised and disappointed that the council refused to take on the root cause of the problem of apartments being built near existing concert halls without soundproofing.
In the 1990s the bar had no neighbors but in 2000 a nearby warehouse was converted into apartments. The development was dependent on a “noise study near the building”, but this never seems to have happened.
She said: “We believe the source of this problem is that when MCC planning approved the construction of apartments next to Night & Day, there was no consideration for the pre-existing music venue next door. Noise consideration was one of the planning requirements specified by the MCC planning department with the developer and is publicly maintained on the MCC planning portal.
“An initial acoustic report recommended that a second additional report be carried out to address any noise ingress from the venue into the apartment. This report was never commissioned and development was approved. She said the initial report identified the complainant’s apartment as a particularly noise-prone site.
“To make matters even more incomprehensible, since the reduction notice was issued and the complainant left his apartment, there have been no more noise complaints. It is simply unacceptable for MCC to continue to assume that the responsibility for this planning error lies with the developer or builder.
“We just want to get on with our lives and business and keep Night & Day alive for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone in Manchester and beyond.”
The bar, which has hosted bands such as Elbow, Wet Leg, Arctic Monkeys and Manic Street Preachers, was recently shortlisted for Music Week’s Best Grassroots Venue award in the UK and over 98,000 people have signed the petition on change .org to keep the place open.
In a statement at the time the notice was published, the MCC said: ‘It should be made clear from the outset that the council has never threatened to close this venue, and there is no legislation that would allow a noise reduction notice to be used to close a room.
“It is important to reiterate throughout this process that extensive discussions have taken place to try to remedy the legal noise nuisance, which was the sole reason a noise abatement notice was served.”