Flats threat to future of Sheffield music venue

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MUSIC fans have made a chorus of protest to Sheffield Council over plans for flats next to a popular venue for live bands.

Ninety-four people have objected to the proposals for the former Friends’ Meeting House at Hartshead, in the city centre, which they believe will threaten the future of the next-door Dove and Rainbow pub.

A report by council planning officers has called for ‘sound insulation measures’ to be installed at the pub to ensure residents of the 10 new flats are not disturbed.

Dawn Gunther, landlady of the Dove and Rainbow, said she has worked hard to develop the venue but fears it will have to close.

She said: “We have a national, and recently international, reputation among up-and-coming bands as a friendly live music venue.

“The only noise sensitive premises in the locality is our own domestic accommodation. We consequently have a licence for live and recorded music until 2am, and 3am at weekends.

“We are not convinced that residential accommodation in such close proximity to our public house will enable us to continue with our current business.

“Without live music to generate the additional trade that it does, we do not feel that our business would be financially viable.”

Supporters of the pub said the loss of another live music venue would be a ‘backwards’ step for Sheffield.

Dan Faulkner, one of the objectors, said: “The D&R is and has been an institution amongst music lovers. Without the likes of such places we’ll never see another Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard, Pulp, Human League or Joe Cocker.

“Sheffield has fallen behind the times enough with the closure of such venues such as The Boardwalk and The Grapes, and it’s truly backwards that a council would condemn such a vital cog in the Sheffield music scene.”

Sheffield Council planning officers said that the pub could continue to host live bands if soundproofing was fitted and that the scheme would bring an empty building back into use.

A decision on the scheme will be made by a council planning board on Monday.