Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
London’s Manbar is fighting a battle with Westminster council after repeated complaints by a single resident of a flat two floors above it. The bar will be forced to close if it loses the case with the council in court, which is scheduled for early in April.
The resident’s complaints led to a licensing review last summer in which Westminster Council banned any music from being played until improvements were made. Extensive works were carried out, which were successful that council officials could not detect any noise in the complainant’s flat when they returned. They even turned off the resident’s fridge and laptop in an attempt to hear noise.
The improvements included agreeing a sound level with the council, and installing a sound limiter to which only an audio expert has access. Owner Chris Amos told So So Gay that despite this, when the council returned recently, they decided to start court proceedings.
Andrew Ralph, a noise and licensing manager at Westminster City Council, told So So Gay: ‘Anyone who has suffered a noise nuisance will know what an impact it can have on quality of life and Westminster City Council’s environmental health team takes any complaint about noise very seriously. It is certainly true that, after measures had been taken to limit noise at Manbar, our officers tested levels and found them to be acceptable.
‘However, after we were contacted again, our officers returned to find that the noise levels were far higher and amounted to a statutory nuisance. That is not acceptable.’
Amos is seeking support both from the gay scene and the general public to help fight off the council.