Neighbours claim riverside bar making lives 'intolerable'
- Credit: The Weir/Archant
Families living near a temporary riverside bar have said it would be an "entirely unacceptable nuisance" if it were to be allowed to be permanent.
But solicitors on behalf of applicants for The Weir in Westwick Street, Norwich, insisted it would be a family-friendly, well-run establishment and "it is not going to be a drinking den".
The licensing application by Aidan Mahon came before Norwich City Council's licensing committee during a six-hour hearing on Thursday, July 1.
There were some 60 objections to the proposal, many from people living in nearby Indigo Yard, Dyers Yard, The Moorings and Robert Gybson Way.
They said during the time the venue had been open during temporary licences, they had been subjected to noise.
Marilyn Ayres, of Robert Gybson Way, said: "I find by the end of the evening the sound levels are invasive."
Sally Youll, of Indigo Yard, said: "It's more of a drinking den than a cafe. The noise from The Weir is intolerable."
Jennifer Haart, of Dyers Yard, said: "Our right to a peaceful home life would be destroyed", while Dr Christopher Reynolds, of Dyers Yard, said it would be "an entirely unacceptable nuisance".
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But Tim Cary, from Leathes Prior Solicitors, on behalf of Mr Mahon, said: "This is not going to be a drinking den. Its not going to be a venue that, and I'm not being in any way critical, the Prince of Wales Road crowd come to."
He pointed to evidence of acoustic expert Ian Rees, who said his readings had not demonstrated the venue contributed greatly to existing noise, but neighbours said that had been done on a cold day, when the bar was not busy.
Mr Mahon said when he opened initially, using temporary licences, he had received no complaints - until Green councillors delivered fliers and held a Zoom meeting about his application.
The committee heard, while environmental health officers had not raised issues, there had been 10 complaints to the city council.
Mr Mahon acknowledged he had "got it wrong" with a previous venture called The Marquee, but said this one would not feature live bands and was a family-friendly venue.
But Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martin's Housing Trust, had raised concerns over the impact of having such a venue so near Highwater House - which houses vulnerable people with histories of mental health problems and addiction issues.
Norfolk police raised no objections, other than requesting a number of conditions.
Towards the close of the meeting, Mr Cary offered to change what was being sought to a one-year licence.
The licensing committee will announce on Tuesday whether it will grant a licence, which would allow the venue to open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 10pm.