Neighbours win appeal over noise from cafe/bar in Earlham Road, Norwich

People living near a popular cafe/bar in Norwich are celebrating after they won an appeal against a council decision to let customers use the rear garden of the premises.

Last October the council's licensing sub-committee approved the variation to the licence at the Workshop in Earlham Road.

The variation was to remove the restriction prohibiting public use of the rear patio area and allow the area to be used for the consumption of alcohol until 11pm every day.

But neighbours appealed that decision on the grounds of public nuisance, and the appeal result was announced at Norwich magistrates' court yesterday.

The appeal decision said: 'We are satisfied that the decision of Norwich City Council made on October 13 was wrong, and that it is clear to us that due to the geography, noise and disturbance is likely to occur when customers congregate in the rear garden.'

It means that no food or drink can be taken to or consumed by customers in the rear garden, and that signs must be fixed to the back door stating the outside area is not for public use except for the toilets, although smokers may have use the covered area next to the toilet doors.

The appeal was also allowed in part for the forecourtat the Workshop, namely that orders for food and drink will now have to end at 9pm each day and consumption must cease at 9.30pm daily.

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The appellant Ann Delaney whose house in Earlham Road is next door but one to the premises, appeared in court with Jenifer Frost, from West Pottergate, whose house backs on to the garden, and they said they were pleased with the result which Mrs Frost said was 'sensible'.

However, Warren Bryant, the owner of the Workshop, said he was surprised with the decision.

He said: 'I expected a compromise with the back garden. There has been no understanding of the problems I have in my private garden. People don't read signs. The only person who has incurred maximum costs is me. I think that we will lose trade in the summer now.'

Mrs Frost said in her original letter to the council that from July 2007 and July 2008, when the workshop did not comply with licensing conditions, they had many problems with noise coming from people in the garden.

Have you appealed against a city council decision? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email