West Street restaurant can open despite residents’ complaints about noise

A new restaurant will open on one of Sheffield’s most popular streets despite local residents saying the late night opening will ruin their sleep.

By Lucy Ashton
Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:07 pm
So Famous can open on West Street despite concerns about noise
So Famous can open on West Street despite concerns about noise

So Famous will open in the old Sinclair’s department store on West Street. Although renovation work has already started, it’s only just been given formal planning permission.

It originally hoped to open until 4am but councillors scaled this back to the ground floor opening until 2am and first floor until 11pm.

But local residents were still unhappy and said an invisible line down West Street means some venues close at 12.30pm on one side while venues on the other side can open until 2am.

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Peter Sephton told a planning meeting: “I chair the residents’ association for 21 apartments in Glossop Road Baths and chair the residents’ association Changing Sheff which aims to support the 22,000 people living in the city centre.

“The key objective is to get a fair balance between the ability of residents to get a decent night’s sleep and the ability of businesses to be profitable.

“There’s a line intended to protect people in residential accomodation in the Devonshire Quarter. This committee is our only defence against moving this line and disrupting our sleep.

“You moved the line three years ago against our wishes when you allowed West One Plaza switch from a residential controlled zone to become part of the night time economy. We have been paying the price ever since and you are in danger of repeating that mistake again.

“Whatever controls you put in place, there is noise created for residents. There is noise from people leaving which is impossible to stop because they have had plenty to drink and are either laughing or arguing but the most disruptive noise is taxis arriving to pick them up.

“There are tram tracks on Glossop Road, Regent Terrace is very narrow and there’s a tiny space outside Sinclairs but nowhere else apart from outside our building.

“Taxi companies send texts but customers don’t appear so taxis blow their horns to attract them and it’s disrespectful and guaranteed to wake us up. People don’t leave right on closing time, they drift away for ages.”

Coun Jack Clarkson said there needed to be a policy on how residents could live alongside the night time economy. “We are getting more and more residential apartments in the city centre and it’s fast becoming a residential area.

“There are bars and clubs but people do need to sleep, there is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. It’s buyer beware in the future. If we grant residential apartments then late night opening, something can’t be right.”

But Coun Peter Price said people were aware of late night opening when they decided to live in the city centre.

“It’s always difficult to balance because the night time economy is important and provides entertainment for thousands of residents and employs thousands of people and is a big economic plus.”

The committee approved the plans.