It’s Mustard in Albert Road was the subject of a licence review called by council environmental health officers who said it had contravened formal notices and ignored warnings issued over the last six months.
Despite claims from a solicitor representing that the business that many of the complaints had been submitted because of a row about parking rights and a “breakdown in communication” with the council, the licensing sub-committee said action needed to be taken.
“Noise Abatement Notices have been issued on the witnessing of statutory noise nuisance on the back of complaints from residents near the premises,” its chairman councillor George Madgwick said. “Following the serving of notices, six further breaches were witnessed.
He added: “The lack of cooperation with the authority, irrespective of a breakdown in communication, is considered extremely serious. This is particularly the case given the lack of response to complaints and the repeated issuing of notices.”
As well as moving the designated premises supervisor from the restaurant’s licence, its management has been ordered to appoint a noise consultant to arrange noise insulation measures, to close the outside area at 9.30pm and now has a limit on how many days a week music can be played which must end at 10pm.
The business opened in December from the former piano shop unit and has hosted regular DJ sets, which its management said could be as long as six hours. These have been at the centre of noise complaints from neighbours which were first made in February.
Speaking at Monday’s (September 4) hearing, Natalie, said she had had to move out of her Albert Road flat at weekends to escape the noise.
“The noise prevents me from sleeping and impacts my overall mental health. I get headaches, I am more stressed out and at times I have been unable to get on with my activities the following day as a result of listening to incredibly jarring and repetitive beats for eight-plus hours most weekends,” she said.
She added that she hard raised her concerns with the management but that her complaints were “dismissed”. Sixteen people wrote to the council in support of the review, saying noise was “unbearable”.
Portsmouth City Council environmental health officers requested the review for six contraventions of a noise abatement notice it issued in March.
“Despite giving clear guidance and warnings as regards to complying with licensing objectives, the licence holder has continued to operate in contravention of prevention of a public nuisance,” Lorraine Astill said.
Licensing solicitor David Dadds said he was “concerned” by how the council had handled complaints and said he believed many of the complaints had been “orchestrated” by a neighbouring landlord who is disputing parking rights with the business.
“We are a new business, we are trying to work with the council but we have been having a difficult time particularly with this officer because we feel starting off didn’t go as well as it could do,” he said. “She was disruptive, she did storm out of the premises.”
He said that rather than revoking permission for music, he supported efforts to better insulate the building for noise, to close the outdoor area at 9.30pm and to put limits on its speakers.
He said: “We think that is a proportionate set of measures to achieve the licensing objectives and we do want to work with the council.”
Several of his conditions were supported by the sub-committee while he also overturned restrictions on non-live music that councillors originally wanted to include.