A Brighton live music venue which shut down after being served a noise abatement notice was one of the noisiest a council officer had ever encountered.
The Blind Tiger Club closed down last year after saying the notice effectively stopped it operating as a live music venue as the cost of soundproofing works were beyond its means.
But the council has this week hit back at suggestions it forced the venue’s closure in response to a petition signed by thousands of people asking for more protection against neighbours moving next door to live venues then complaining.
And it has rebutted claims the notice was served in response to just one neighbour’s complaint, saying it had been contacted by people living in three nearby streets.
The chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s licensing committee, Councillor Stephanie Powell, said: “Brighton and Hove has more music venues than virtually any other similar sized town or city in the UK.
“The music scene here is thriving and is frequently referenced by national radio DJs such as Craig Charles.
“Live music is a vital part of our cultural and tourism offer, and as such is an important part of the city’s economy.
“Our licensing policy specifically encourages live music, while safeguarding the right of our residents for privacy and family life as required by national law.
“We completely reject any claim that we ‘effectively gave a ban on playing music’ or forced the closure of the Blind Tiger. The venue was simply required to follow the same rules as all the many other venues in the city.
“We supported the live music operation of the Blind Tiger for many years because it fitted well with the commitment stated in our licensing policy to support live music.
“Its decision to cease trading was taken by the management of the venue. We did not force its closure.
“At the time it ceased trading, the Blind Tiger still possessed a licence, was still allowed to stage live music, was still allowed to play recorded music, and was still allowed to sell alcohol.
“Our environmental health team was forced to serve a noise abatement notice on the venue for persistent noise nuisance. Failure to do so would have left us in breach of our legal duties.
“The notice followed complaints from residents in three nearby streets. An experienced council officer monitoring one property reported the worst noise nuisance they had ever encountered.
“The noise abatement notice only prevented emitting noise of a level that interfered with the personal comfort of neighbours.”