Floyds bar claims it is being ‘bullied’ by council over noise complaints

November 27, 2012 4 Comments »

Floyds bar owners are Ashley Boucher (left), and Zak Edwards (right) say they are being “bullied” by the council over noise complaints about their business. The bar’s live music co-ordinator, Adam Morgan (centre) has had his lap top confiscated by the local authority.

The owner of a city centre bar which had its music equipment confiscated after repeated noise complaints claims his business has been “bullied”.

Ashley Boucher, who has run Floyd’s Bar on High Street for the past two years, said Cardiff council staff took away equipment last Thursday – including speakers, amplifiers, a CD player and a laptop – worth £5,000.

The council said it has evidence a noise abatement notice had been breached 13 times since August. A spokeswoman said despite the council’s attempts to remedy the situation, the business “failed to cooperate”.

But Mr Boucher said he’d been presented with no evidence and insisted the bar had complied with requests from the council to reduce noise levels.

Floyd’s was shut last Thursday as Mr Boucher organised rental equipment – at a cost of about £250 a week – so he could open over the weekend. The business is open as usual.

The 20-year-old said he’d been told by the council he won’t get his equipment back until after a court hearing in January at the earliest.

The business has been the subject of repeated complaints and the latest was last Friday night in the hours after the Wales-Samoa rugby Test at the Millennium Stadium.

Mr Boucher has not been told the identity of who lodged the complaints, but believes it is a resident of a neighbouring flat.

Mr Boucher said he was shocked at the confiscation as he’d complied with council measures, which included hiring an acoustics expert, keeping windows shut, moving speakers away from the walls and not playing music outside.

He is also angry that nobody from the noise team had confronted the bar’s management about the issue on the Friday night.

“It seems to me the noise pollution department want to close us down – they are bullying us,” Mr Boucher said.

“The worst thing is that it was a Friday night, the rugby was on and the street was filled with people blowing air horns and whistles.

“There was no decibel reading, it’s just the opinion of one council employee.”

Plaid Cymru councillor Neil McEvoy, who said he’d spoken to the business, added: “Floyd’s have been very reasonable at every point – they are being victimised.”

A council spokeswoman said a noise abatement notice was served on the premises in July 2011.

“The council’s noise pollution team has been receiving complaints regarding noise from a café/bar at High Street since August 2012,” she said.

“Since August 2012 the council has gained evidence of 13 breaches of requirements of the notices.

“Despite the council’s repeated communication with the business and attempts to remedy the situation, the business has failed to cooperate.

“The council therefore obtained a warrant from Cardiff Magistrates which was exercised on November 22 and equipment was seized from the premises.”

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4 Comments

  1. Twm November 28, 2012 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Disgusting that the council have seized this equipment. I feel for the guy who owns the laptop as he may not work full time at the bar and may need it to play music elsewhere. Obviously without amplification the laptop is unable to create a 'noise nuisance'.
    Sadly this is another case where music venues are being targeted by a council that seems only too willing to listen to any complaint.
    I doubt the absence of amplified music from Floyds made any difference to the 'noise levels' in St Mary Street, as the story points out it's in the middle of a busy and lively city centre, not an exam hall.

  2. John Smith December 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    This article is written as if the bar has actually made an effort! Living in the city centre does not mean you shouidl be subject to music blasting until 4am, yes it is a busy street but I live on that street and my bedroom is at the back of the block, not looking onto the street which means you cannot hear anything. I have been in Floyds and the music is way too loud when you are in there, plus its the same music over and over. I think people like this are going for the sympathy vote and well done to the council for bursting their 'I am invicible' attitude to city centre living. 13 breaches and its still way too loud really does say how either stupid or ignorant they are to have not listened after the first warning.

  3. Sharon Hull February 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Would it not make sense for the people that don't like noise and enjoy a quiet early night to live somewhere that doesn't resemble Las Vegas Boulevard. Floyds raised this point many years ago about increasing residential properties in the area that these issues would arise. The area has always been an area full of night time entertainment and excitement we all remember nights out in town and people travel from all over for Cardiff's nightlife that employs many people and also pays heavy rates to the very people who seem to be persecuting people trying to run a business. The Town centre has been a hub for trade both daytime and night-time for many years and now the council want to turn it into a housing estate…..perhaps the council should look at this problem in more depth, Cardiff Town Centre is not suitable as a residential area unless you enjoy fun and don't mind music and noise. I am no teenager I'm a gran but remember fun and loud music, the excitement of a night out in town so please send people that like a quiet life somewhere quiet and let the party goers enjoy a good night out.

    • Will K February 22, 2013 at 2:34 am - Reply

      Actually Sharon, these areas usually command higher prices for residential property as clearly office space isn't in demand here anymore. As a result, it's the club/bar owners responsibility to sound proof their business. The area has changed (as it does in all cities), businesses have to change too.
      It would be like KFC complaining to the council that they've now been told to fit extra filters and quieter, more efficient extractor fans in their kitchen because there are people now living above. It's a perfectly reasonable request from the council.

      This is just another sob story, the council must have warned them plenty of times.

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