Future of Rotherham micro pub in doubt after backdated planning application rejected on noise grounds

A pub operating without planning permission since last December in Rotherham has been given notice to close by councillors following an attempt by the owner to get backdated approval by the owner.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 9:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 12:10 pm
Complaints: Noise from The Unit has upset neighbours in Rawmarsh

The Unit micro pub and gin bar in Rawmarsh had been granted a drinks licence last year, but opened in December without the necessary planning permission to turn the former car repair garage into a public bar.

Council officers had recommended planning permission should be granted retrospectively, with conditions covering issues such as noise, but councillors on the authority’s planning board rejected the application after hearing from neighbours already affected by disturbance from the venue, in Dale Road.

A meeting heard there was also uncertainty over whether the building met fire service safety regulations, though that is a separate issue which planners cannot take into account when making their decision.

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Echo chamber: Councillors were concerned The Unit's location could amplify noise

Now the owner has been given 28 days to cease trading and remove decking which had been installed outside the property, though if they decide to appeal against the decision the clock will stop until the outcome of the appeal is known, allowing trading to continue in the meantime.

Resident Helen Butler lives nearby and attended the meeting to tell councillors: “When the building was a garage, we had no noise problems.

“We have had to put up with constant noise, people shouting and swearing, children screaming and that sets my dog off barking.

“I get worried I may get turfed out because of that, but it isn’t his fault.

“I have to shut my windows at night, Easter weekend it was shocking with noise. I feel as though I will have to leave my home because of noise and no-one seems to care what impact the noise has on residents.”

Coun Robert Walsh said: “I think we can accept noise nuisance is a fact at present. For me, the question is the enforceability of the conditions, if the noise can be contained I think this should work.

“If the condition can’t be complied with, consequences ensue.”

Councillors were told action could be taken within days if council officials attended and found planning conditions were being breached but Coun Brian Steele said he was concerned about noise levels in the enclosed area where the building is situated.

“The noise would cause me concern, I would like to know more about how we could monitor that if I was a resident, I can understand their concerns.”

The application was refused on the grounds of noise generated from the building, which councillors found to be unacceptable.

They had heard from a highways official that the pub’s yard, shared with a taxi firm, was not an ideal arrangement, but not enough to generate an objection to the planning application.