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Bid to make riverside live music venue permanent scrapped after noise complaints

PUBLISHED: 10:20 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 29 October 2020

Marquee of St Benedicts was sited in a car park over looking the river off Westwick Street. Picture: Brittany Woodman

Marquee of St Benedicts was sited in a car park over looking the river off Westwick Street. Picture: Brittany Woodman

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Plans to make a temporary riverside live music venue in Norwich permanent have been withdrawn after an “unprecedented” number of complaints.

Marquee of St Benedicts was sited in a car park over looking the river off Westwick Street. Picture: Brittany WoodmanMarquee of St Benedicts was sited in a car park over looking the river off Westwick Street. Picture: Brittany Woodman

The Marquee of St Benedict’s, a street food festival with live entertainment, was set up in a car park in Westwick Street, which runs parallel to St Benedicts Street, as a pop-up to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

The first events at the venue, which is next to the river and overlooks residential properties, on the August bank holiday weekend led to a large number of complaints over noise and disruption.

Further events planned for subsequent weekends that the organisers had a temporary licence to stage did not go ahead.

Marquee of St Benedicts organsier Aidan Mahon. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanMarquee of St Benedicts organsier Aidan Mahon. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

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Now an application for a permanent licence to sell alcohol and host live music in the outdoor space on a regular basis has been withdrawn.

The application had sought to allow live music seven days a week from 4pm to 11pm, and on New Year’s Eve until 1am.

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It stated: “Live music will mainly be unamplified and the performers will usually be based on the stage to be located under cover close to the marquee.”

Aidan Mahon, who has been working in pubs in the city for the last 20 years, including Delaney’s, now St Andrew’s Brew House, and, up until recently, The Butcher Bhoy, had also hoped to hold an October beer festival, Christmas fair or Après Ski event in December on the site.

The application had also sought to screen occasional films, particularly in the summer months, but added that “the volume of any dialogue/music will be monitored”.

Marquee of St Benedicts featured a 19m long bar, live music and street food. Picture: Brittany WoodmanMarquee of St Benedicts featured a 19m long bar, live music and street food. Picture: Brittany Woodman

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The August events featured a 19-metre long bar and 30 picnic tables overlooking the river with food vendors and live music.

Martin Schmierer, the Green Party councillor for Mancroft Ward, said an “unprecedented number” of residents had written to the council to object to it becoming a permanent fixture.

He said: “This is really good news for all of you who felt that the events in late August were incredibly disruptive and who were worried about the prospect of more events and a permanent licence in this location.”

He added: “We absolutely want to support the hospitality industry, especially in a very difficult time, but the Westwick Street site is not an appropriate location.”

Mr Mahon said he was disappointed but did not want to comment further.


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