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B&B couple win appeal to curb noise

PUBLISHED: 07:57 21 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

LORNA MARSH

The owner of a bed and breakfast opposite St Andrew's Hall in Norwich has won an appeal to curb noise from music at the venue.

LORNA MARSH

The owner of a bed and breakfast opposite St Andrew's Hall in Norwich has won an appeal to curb noise from music at the venue.

Solicitor John Hardman and his wife Carol, who also live at the B&B on Prince's Street, won their battle at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Monday to get further restrictions on amplified music at the hall.

The couple's success means a sound limiter will stay in place at the venue and a deadline of 10.30pm will be imposed on amplified music - an hour earlier than the curfew put in last year following complaints.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said it would have a significant effect on what events could be held at the venue - including weddings and the annual Norfolk and Norwich Beer Festival, which traditionally has music on each of its six nights.

"This is deeply disappointing and will threaten the use of the hall and have a far-reaching effect on the sorts of events we can have there," he said.

"The halls [St Andrew's and neighbouring Blackfriars] have been a community and cultural venue for hundreds of years.

"This ruling will mean the people of Norwich will no longer be able to get married there and have a reception with amplified music that runs after 10.30pm, and it will threaten the music pro-gramme at the beer festival.

"It will even threaten educational concerts where the sound of the orchestra trips the limiter. The council will now take advice as to what it does next."

But the Hardmans, who on their website promote the proximity of their B&B to the venue, insisted they were not trying to ruin the cultural vibrancy of the city.

Mr Hardman said: "My wife and I are very pleased that the licensing justices upheld our appeal against the extension of hours for playing amplified music at St Andrew's Hall . . .

"What we want to make clear is that speculative and inaccurate stories about restrictions making the hall impossible to use for the traditional events it has always been associated with are just not true.

"The noise rules will only affect a small minority of the events put on at the halls.

"A 16th-century monastic hall without effective sound insulation and with only single glazing to some of its windows just can't cope with heavily amplified bands and 'wall of sound' discos - especially very late at night

. . .

"The outcome of the case is a great relief because we have been dealing with these problems for over six years."

Magistrates will reconvene on Monday to give their full reasons for the decision.


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