Scores of music fans have rallied to fight plans for new flats opposite a popular city centre music venue.
Haysport Properties Ltd wants to convert offices above an empty shop opposite the Hope and Ruin Pub and Rossi Bar on Queen’s Road into six flats.
In just two days, 163 people objected to the planning application on Brighton and Hove City Council’s online portal, saying future neighbours could complain about the noise.
Many refer to music venues such as The Freebutt, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar and Blind Tiger, which closed due to noise complaints.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning policies state: “The continued operation of pubs and other venues, including those featuring live music, is protected from being compromised by new, sensitive development on nearby sites through the ‘agent of change principle’.”
One objector, whose details are removed on the council’s website, said: “I am concerned that this will have a significant impact on Brighton’s thriving music scene, with residents then being able to close down venues with a noise abatement request as we saw with The Freebutt and Sticky Mikes.
“The Hope and Ruin pub, in particular, is a vital part of our town with the likes of superstars, Adele, Dua Lipa and The Strokes having played there.”
The operators of the Hope and Ruin, a Laine Pub Company venue, have also objected to the plans.
They said: “We believe a residential development in such close proximity to us would not take into account our long-established activities over many years as a music venue and would not be consistent with the commercial nature of Queens Road.
“Within metres of the proposed development, there are three music venues that would be in jeopardy should the change of use take place.”
The third venue is not specified.
An objection from the Music Venue Trust charity criticises the noise assessment carried out by Venta Acoustics was not made in collaboration with the two “grassroots venues” to establish a “worst case scenario”.
The charity said: “The noise assessment concludes that the impact of noise will be well in excess of standards, and significant mitigation in terms of building fabric and glazing specification will be required to make the units habitable.
“However, the assessment appears to make assumptions about the existing building fabric, but these are untested and unspecified.
“Non-opening windows are not proposed, nor is any form of air conditioning, making noise complaints much more likely. Even with windows closed, the noise assessment expresses uncertainty.”
The application, written by UPP Architects and Town Planners, includes a noise impact assessment which states measurements were carried out between Tuesday 13 and Thursday 15 September 2022.
According to the report by Venta Acoustics, the daytime average noise was 65 decibels (dB) and at night, from 11pm to 7am, it was 61 dB.
The report said: “The noise associated with the pubs on Queens Road is due to the voices of customers outside, with a lesser contribution from music noise breakout.
“The loudest period of the night associated with the pub is at closing time, when average noise levels increase to between 60-65dB, with maximum events ranging between 75-80dB.”
If Brighton and Hove City Council grants the application, the top part of the building will be converted into four one-bedroom and two, two-bedroom flats.
The application is available to view by searching for BH2023/01234 on the council’s planning website.
RIP Sticky Mike’s and Blind Tiger, never forget never forgive