Night and Day Café has avoided the threat of closure after Manchester City Council decided against imposing noise limitations on the venue.
The popular Northern Quarter bar has been subjected to a bitter year-long battle with local residents who complained about persistently loud noise levels.
The council’s Environmental Health Department sought an addition to Night and Day’s Licence, whereby the cafe would implement a ‘tamper-proof noise limiting device’.
However the decision reached by the committee concluded that while Night and Day must provide a ‘complaints book’ and phone number to residents as well as holding a residents concerns meeting every three months, the café would not be required to install a noise limitation device.
In reaction to the decision, the owner of Night and Day Jan Oldenburg said: “I’m very happy we don’t have to have noise limiters.
“I hope we are a positive influence on Manchester and its music scene. I think people appreciate the cultural value we bring as well as helping young musicians achieve their ambitions.”
His daughter Jennifer Oldenburg, manager of the venue, added: “We’ve had something done already to keep the noise in check.
“I’m glad we have been treated as professional business owners and we’re very pleased with today’s outcome.”
The Night and Day Cafe was slapped with a noise abatement notice in January and this sparked a petition to try and fight the notice, which almost 75,000 people signed.
But the complainant, who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed his happiness at the outcome.
They said: “I still believe a noise limiter is needed, however, I agree with the conditions the council has proposed.
“After all we’ve endured the past nine months, I am glad it is over.”
During a licencing review held today, both sides put forward their views at a somewhat tense hearing.
The anonymous resident described how he felt Night and Day had acted aggressively towards him.
They said: “There were severe noise levels and the walls would vibrate at night.
“When I complained to them they had a ‘we-were-here-first attitude’. They were happy to blame others rather than themselves.”
He went on to explain that he was currently attending counselling for victim support and his partner was prescribed medication for high blood pressure as a result of the ongoing dispute.
Kelly Oakland, speaking on behalf of Manchester City Council’s Environmental Health department, said: “Bands can turn up and play music at whatever level they like.
“Other venues across Manchester have noise limiters and carry on perfectly well. This license review was a last resort as Night and Day did not let us in to carry ut noise assessments.”
Mr Oldenburg rejected the suggestion of a noise limiter and claimed he was being ‘treated as a guilty party for no reason’.
He said: “We want to be a first-rate music venue and we are trading on the quality of our sound.
“Bands want to come across as well as they can and if we had a noise limiter they would go elsewhere.
Ms Oldenburg added: “We have undertaken acoustic work on the building which has made it considerably quieter.”
“Certain environmental officers have been aggressive towards us by insisting we work within certain timeframes.
“I don’t think the council understands we have a constrained budget.
“There have been no complaints about noise from us since the complainants moved out in August 2014.”
Richard Williams, acting on behalf of Night and Day, argued that Manchester City Council’s planning department outlined that a noise level of between 30 to 40 decibels was acceptable for public premises.
“All readings taken by both parties have never shown readings over 40 decibels, with the highest reading reaching 34 decibels.”
Mr Williams accused the council of negligence, arguing that the premises of Night and Day should never have been built in the first place as the acoustic report that was undertaken during the buildings completion was ‘flawed’.
He said: “There will be a complaint to the ombudsman. The property should never have been built if the acoustics are deemed unacceptable.”
And the chair at the review insisted that the hostilities between all parties are the only reason that the row reached that stage.
Councillor Glynn Evans, chairing the review, said: “It is sad when communications break down between the council and other parties, as this matter could have been resolved before a licensing review was needed.”