Cardiff’s Polynesia club shuts just months after opening following noise row

May 21, 2012 9 Comments »

A CARDIFF nightclub embroiled in a dispute with neighbouring residents over late night noise has been forced to shut down just nine months after opening.

Polynesia took over the former Hard Rock Cafe building in the Old Brewery Quarter on St Mary Street in the city centre last September.

Polynesia boss James Tucker yesterday said the business had struggled to trade successfully after failing in its bid to extend its opening hours. Mr Tucker said US-based Hard Rock, the building’s landlord, had “taken back” the building and forfeited its lease on Tuesday.

The businessman said the future of the club – and the jobs of its 30 staff – was “in a state of flux” as negotiations with Hard Rock about a reopening continued.

Mr Tucker said the club had suffered after Cardiff council’s licensing committee rejected an application to extend the Wednesday to Saturday opening hours by 30 minutes to 3am.

The committee turned down the bid after residents of the Old Brewery Quarter objected, saying they’d suffered from sleepless nights since the venue opened.

Mr Tucker said that in December the council had served a noise abatement notice on the premises.

Mr Tucker said he appealed and the case went to court last Monday, but was adjourned by the judge. The following day Hard Rock serve a notice of possession.

Mr Tucker, who said he had spent £20,000 soundproofing the building, said: “It’s a bit out of the blue. We have been negotiating a rent-free period (with Hard Rock) as we have had to spend a lot of money on soundproofing to get an extension to our late licence.”

He added: “We have done everything we can to get soundproof and comply with the regulations. Hard Rock were aware of the situation.”

Mr Tucker said he had found dealing with the council and South Wales Police “extremely difficult”.

“If I had of known what the council and police were going to be like I would not have bothered opening in Cardiff,” he said.

“If we were a bigger company we would not have had these problems.”

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9 Comments

  1. chrisp May 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Just shows the stupidity of planners and developers who have allowed mixed commercial and residential developments where this kind of tension was bound to happen.

    You do have to question the logic of residents though – you can't really expect to live in the city centre and have a quiet night!

  2. @hintofsarcasm May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    When I lived in The Brewery Quarter we had a running battle with Lava Lounge, who continually broke the conditions of their license, first by letting people outside to smoke with drinks, which means they end up spending the entire night outside smoking and drinking, the noise level of 50+ people drunkenly chatting is horrendous. Add to that when they then installed speakers outside to cater to the dozens who spent the night outside, it was total madness.

    Don't get me wrong, living there you expect some noise and will tolerate it up to a certain level, but when an establishment is going out of its way to let its punters be loud, and then adding to it themselves it gets out of hand.
    We had the council come down one night with a noise-meter and it registered at around 90db, which is not far off that of a rock concert.

    Towards the end of my tenure there, in 2010, it steadily got better after continual warnings from the council.
    I was out of there before Polynesia opened, but I can only imagine that Cardiff council will have that area on a tight leash now, and the residents of the Brewery Quarter will always oppose any license changes that will make the noise go on for longer…

  3. Jim May 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Firstly,

    It sickens me that this is remotely a police issue. There is enough for the police to be getting on with, instead of having a man behind a desk objecting to businesses right to trade. Do your job, and let our city thrive.

    Secondly the council's position on the saturation zone and St Mary street in particular is equally disgusting. Let our city evolve. This is an independently owned business employing 30 people in our city. It's entrepeneurial, adds to the cultural life of the city and should be supported. People who live in the city centre should expect some noise and businesses should expect some support from the council.

    I can only hope the new administration has more common sense.

    • respectable person May 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      do you really think the Police want to be bothered with this crap

  4. @NigelBlues May 22, 2012 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Oh come on, no club shuts down because it has to shut at 2:30am instead of 3am! From all I see going past, it's big problem was it attracted mostly late teens who had done their drinking before entering the place and/or didn't spend once inside so it probably never got the income they projected.

  5. Alan Smith May 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Personally i would blame the planning committee in the first place for allowing apartments to be built amongst what is primarily an entertainment venue. Who ever was sitting on the committee in the first place should have known better than to combine the two together

  6. Ian May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    This is a real shame, but unfortuantely what seems to happen in Cardiff, The Point was another key example of this.

    I can't believe that Cardiff's entertainment industry – which it is famed for – continues to be blighted by narrow minded residents – why would you honestly buy an apartment on top of an entertainment complex in the city centre if you wanted zero noise pollution? The mind truly boggles at times.

  7. Helen May 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    The council turned down an upmarket burlesque/ comedy / entertainment bar and restaurant ,which would have certainly been more welcoming stepping away from the alcohol focused st Mary street! I really can't imagine was going through their tiny little brains :)

  8. J Will November 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Any news on Hard Rock Reopening? WE NEED IT BACK IN THE CITY!

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