Bar in West Vale can extend opening hours and host live music - but is told to keep a lid on the noise

Craft bar, West Vale, Greetland
Craft bar, West Vale, Greetland

A bar in West Vale has been granted permission to extend some of its opening hours, show films and showcase live music – but on condition it fits sound limiters.

Licensing councillors heard the tenant of a flat above the Craft bar, Saddleworth Road, Greetland, had to take medication because their sleep was being disturbed by noise from below.

Some other neighbours and ward Councillor Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) had also objected to the application on grounds of nuisance caused by people leaving the pub and noise.

Mr Scott Carroll applied for permission to make the changes to his licence at Craft.

Members of Calderdale Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee heard he wanted to add provision of films and live music to his existing licence, and to be able to open and sell alcohol from 11pm on a Friday evening to 1am the following morning - it can already open until 1am early on Sunday morning from a Saturday night.

All were permitted by the committee but they did not grant all Mr Carroll’s application to add seasonal variation or non-standard timings – these refer to Christmas Eve and New Years Eve plus the Sunday prior to a Bank Holiday Monday and on Bank Holiday Mondays – particularly opening from 9pm to 1am on relevant Mondays.

Noise limiters – designed to monitor the sound in an area and limit the maximum sound level that can be generated by sound equipment – would have to be fitted.

They would be necessary to limit the noise from live music, the committee agreed.

Monday opening should still be limited to 11pm closing to prevent excessive noise going into what would be a normal working day, said committee chair Coun Robert Thornber (Con, Ryburn).

Craft can already open 9am to midnight Sundays to Thursdays.

An agent for Mr Carroll said the views of objectors had been taken on board and clear signage was in place on the premises to encourage patrons to limit any noise disturbance.

Windows on both sides of the entry, which could completely slide out like doors, were shut at 7pm and staff were told to adhere to that.

In the evening door security staff were in place and had to ensure the door was also shut. Windows were double glazed and Craft had adequate ventilation in the building to ensure they did not need to be opened. Its ceiling had been treble boarded, said the agent.

Part of the noise problem was people leaving Craft when it closed to go to a nearby bar which could open later. “The extension up to 1am is keeping the clientele within the property and preventing overspill of people going from one to another,” she said.

Coun Thornber asked if noise monitors the bar said it had were hand-held or limiters of the sort that cut sound out if amplified music got too loud.

Coun Bellenger told the committee he had nothing against the bar, which was doing a tremendous job for West Vale.

“But we have to strike a balance and the properties were there first,” he said.

Coun Bellenger said he had received a complaint from a resident who lived directly above and ultimately nearby homes were there before the bar.

“There are other residential premises within five to ten yards that can hear the thud of the music despite double glazed windows,” he said.

The resident had written to the committee herself explaining that noise from the bar which was audible above her television and made it difficult to sleep, the request for later hours and live music being particularly of concern.

Coun Bellenger said: “At the end of the day we have to strike a balance and we have to take into account the quality of people’s lives.”

A second resident told the committee he had issues with noise and inconvenience.

He said Craft had managed noise and any potential disturbance last Saturday night, ahead of Monday’s hearing, very well but could not see it being able to do that regularly, through the summer when it was hot, for example.

The objector wondered if hours at the other nearby venue could be limited to the same as Craft’s to eliminate the problem of people creating noise while going from one to another.