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.”