Agenda item - BH2023/01522 - 45 George Street, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2023/01522 - 45 George Street, Brighton - Full Planning


1.         The Planning Manager introduced the application to the committee.




2.         Michael Landragin addressed the committee as a resident via a speech read out by the Democratic Services officer as follows: 1) The Noise Impact Assessment was arranged by the operators of the bar and that the assessment has been undertaken to support the retrospective Change of Use application. Having taken legal advice, I have strong concerns about the impartiality of the report, even though both Environmental Health and Planning have advised that they trust that it will have been impartial and professional. I feel that the contents and readings given within this Noise Impact report should be viewed with caution. 2) The building (Albion Court) is in fact mostly residential, comprising 18 residential flats, occupied by a mix of owner occupiers and tenants, and that there are 3 residential floors above the commercial premises making the application. 3) Although it seems the operators of the bar have been more careful with music noise levels recently, and the Planning report says that the bar has made changes to reduce the noise impact to the building including the flat above, the concern is that this may not continue once/if the Change of Use is granted, unless there are clear conditions attached restricting the volume level of music played or restrictions to more reasonable social hours that music can be played in the bar. 4) In regard to the extended opening until 1am for special occasions, how will this be monitored by the Council? Please be aware that the Leases for the building state that music from whatever source between the hours of 11pm and 8am is not permitted.


3.         Emmi Edwards addressed the committee as the one of the applicants and stated that the bar was a safe space for non-binary, trans and LGBTQIA+ members of the community that employed five members of staff and served non and low alcohol drinks. The bar had donated 50% of their Pride takings to charities. There was considered to be no noise outside the bar and no complaints had been received or calls for police attendance. They usually close around 10.30pm when the customers had left. It was noted that the noise assessment calculated a high of 26 decibels in the flat above the bar, which is below 30 decibels limit.


Answers to Committee Member Questions


4.         Councillor Theobald was informed by the applicant that a low/non-alcohol bar does not require a licence, only alcohol levels above 0.5% require one. It was also noted that music volume levels have been changed by moving speakers away from the ceiling, closer to ground level, soft furnishings have now been introduced, both in line with Environmental Health guidelines.


5.         Councillor Cattell was informed by the applicant that they had sought legal advice and were informed that planning permission was not required. It is now noted that a change of use from Sui Generis to another Sui Generis use requires planning permission.




6.         Councillor Hamilton welcomed the application and noted the bar opened 5 days a week only and would close at 11pm. The councillor supported the application.


7.         Councillor Cattell considered the bar to be a start of a revolution and considered the acoustic guidance had been followed and Environment Health had accepted the noise report. The councillor supported the application.


8.         Councillor Allen stated they were encouraged as it was clear the applicant had been talking to neighbours and this bar would boost variety in Kemptown. The councillor supported the application.


9.         Councillor Theobald considered the change to a non-alcohol bar a good thing and hoped it would not upset the neighbours.


10.      Councillor Loughran noted there was a condition relating to noise. The councillor supported the application.




11.      A vote was taken, and the committee agreed unanimously to grant planning permission.


12.      RESOLVED: That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to GRANT planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives in the report.

Supporting documents:


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