Dunstable licenced premises loses right to play music

Review of the Premises Licence for Ultimate Bar and Lounge, 4-6 Albion Street, Dunstable LU6 1 SA.

A licenced premise in Dunstable has lost its right to play music and had its opening hours curtailed following complaints that made resident's life "hell".

The Four Licensing Objectives
To promote the following Licensing Objectives:
1. Prevention of crime and disorder
2. Public safety
3. Prevention of public nuisance
4. Protection of children from harm

A Licensing Committee met today to discuss the future licensing of The Ultimate Bar and Lounge operating address is 4-6 Albion Street, Dunstable. The committee decided to take away the licencing permission for music to be performed or played and reduced the licenced hours of opening.

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An emotionally drained resident that has suffered excessive noise in Dunstable, today addressed a Licencing Sub Committee saying that his life had been hell.
The premises, Ultimate Bar and Lounge, 4-6 Albion Street, Dunstable, has commercial use on the ground floor and is classed as a restaurant and formerly operated as an Indian Restaurant. Part of the premises is above a basement flat and has a raised floor which is also the ceiling of the flat. There are residential premises directly above at first and second floor levels, to the rear (Albion Mews), and to either side on the first and second floors. The front of the premises has large glass windows with a lobby entrance with toilets to the rear. There is no external space and so any smoking takes place in the street to the front of the building.

The commercial premises opened last year following a variation of the premises license issued on 10th February 2021. The premises was authorised to carry out licensable activities up to midnight from Sunday to Thursday and up to 4am at other times. And was allowed to hold performances of live music and the playing of recorded music during these times.

Complaints of noise followed, and Council officers investigated and corroborated the noise levels upholding the resident's complaints. Suggestions were made to the operators about noise abatement, but the complaints continued to the council. The Council had thought it would be mainly used as a restaurant, and not as a nightclub. Further visits to the premises were made by officers and they witnessed noise that was not in keeping with just those of a restaurant.

Among other things, CBC Public Protection recommended a noise management plan to be submitted 28 days prior to the premises opening to the public and they had not done that. And they had also asked for a scheme of noise insulation.

A local resident, Luke Ankrah, addressed the committee today saying,  "Let me come to your home and set up a business in your attic. That's basically what it's been. It's been hell for me." 
"Putting these measures in [to kerb noise] is all well and good, but while you're asleep in your beds, and there's a blind eye, he's going to play his games."
 "Walking, conversations, I can hear it all, as a resident below."
"It's impacted on my mental health and I'm currently engaging with Bedfordshire Wellbeing to help manage what it's done to me and the effect it's had on my life, and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."


Cllr Tracey Wye, chairing the Central Bedfordshire Council's Licensing Subcommittee summed up the panel's findings as, 

“On the basis of written and verbal representations, the Licensing Subcommittee made the following findings of fact:

“The noise management plan, which should have been submitted 28 days prior to the premises opening to the public, was not submitted.

“The scheme of noise insulation which was due to be undertaken by professional contractors to eliminate airborne and structural noise transmission to neighbouring residential premises was not correctly carried out.

“Noise complaints have been received from 4 separate residential premises and have been corroborated by CBC Public Protection. Levels of noise have been excessive and persistent in nature. 

“The committee finds that the needs of the residential neighbours of the premises have not been sufficiently considered and sufficient steps to alleviate the noise nuisance emanating from the premises have not been taken. 

“The committee finds the main cause of the excessive noise is the playing of music and the performance of live music. It is agreed that the following condition is removed from the existing premises licence in order to promote the licencing objective of the prevention of public nuisance. 

“  'Performance of live music and the playing of recorded music indoors.'

“It is agreed that the following conditions to the opening hours is amended in the existing premises licence in order to promote the licencing objective of the prevention of public nuisance. And that is, Sunday - Thursday 11am to 11pm. Friday and Saturday 11am till midnight. 

“The decision notice will be sent to you within 5 working days. You have the right to appeal to the magistrate court within 21 days of this decision. This meeting is now closed. Thank you all for attending. ”

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