Monday, 25 June 2012

My Next Challenge

Last year myself and my neighbours found out we could return to some peace and quiet on a Friday and Saturday night after a year of hell from a nightclub behind us. My house is directly (pretty much) behind said nightclub which, as you can imagine, was not so great.

When we moved here we had no idea we were moving behind a restaurant who had just applied for a license to sell alcohol from 5pm and play live and recorded music in a club they wanted to open until 3am in the morning. I didn't find out about this until I sifted through a stack of post belonging to the old occupants. You can imagine my horror to discover this information after moving from a bottom flat which housed a youth who played loud music every week.

We were lent some money when it got too much and were about to leave our home again when I got the news that the club license was going to be revoked. I was over the moon and the peace of 5 nights a week went back to 7 nights a week. Bliss.

But I find myself now, less than a year on, having to fight new owners of a new restaurant who also want to open the club, under the same name, with the same idea. Play loud, thudding music until 3am and serve alcohol to the same people who last time stabbed a man, smashed cars parked outside my house, ripped off wing mirrors, caused massive sleep disturbance to most of us living here.
There is no sound proofing. To be honest, even if there was it wouldn't stop the thudding I hear downstairs.

The main problem is and the real reason I take such a perhaps over-the-top view to some people, is last time it really badly effected me. Mentally.

I often couldn't sleep until gone 4am and would be plagued by nerves most evenings, even when I knew the club wouldn't be open. I would spend the whole week dreading Friday and Saturday. My nerves upset my stomach, making me physically ill. I would shake. Purely psychological but it's something that is deep rooted. Something I went to therapy for but it couldn't be stopped. The only thing that returned me to almost 'normal' state (I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder which is crippling when a problem like this comes to the surface threatening to take all my hard word work away) was the club being shut down.

Most people I have spoken to are so weak. They don't *think* anything will happen. Do they know? No. They don't. Will they do anything about it? No. They won't. So I will. For the second time, but right from the beginning I am tackling my demons. I have made posters to pop into letterboxes and I won't rest until I know this club won't ruin my life again.

I wasn't a good Mum last time. I wasn't a good partner. The thought of this happening again terrifies me.  Wish me luck!

8 comments:

  1. I live in the US so I'm not sure how liquor licenses are issued in the UK. Here in New Jersey, the local government issues those licenses and they are worth a small fortune. If someone has a problem with a bar, they can complain to the local government (e.g., Mayor, city council) that issued the license. The local government can fine a license holder for quality of life violations. They can also suspend or even revoke a liquor license.

    If it were me, I'd invite the Mayor over to my house for a beer or a cup of coffee. I'd let her hear firsthand what the problem is. You might want to do the same, Hannah. God knows Little Miss and Little Man would charm any politician that came by for a visit.

    Good luck, my friend.

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  2. That's awful! I used to have to object to planning and licensing applications on behalf of the police and you definitely have a case to appeal against this license going through! Make sure you and as many neighbours as possible object in writing to the license application as possible, hound your local police officer responsible for licensing applications to ensure the noise/anti social behaviour/crimes arising from the club are put in his report and get onto the licensing committee at the local council too, as well as your MP. You could also consider going along to the licensing hearing in order that you can be heard in person.

    Good Luck, I hope it goes your way, it sounds awful!

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  3. Thank you for your comments. It was awful last time and would be no different again i am sure of it. It's not just about the noise and how affects me but its also about my children, my neighbourhood and the town itself has been better since the club disappeared.
    Thank you for your help and advice. I have contacted my local police online and in 2 different depts. so hopefully i will hear something. I have also contacted my local MP in the hope he will help.
    I think there may be a lady going around with a petition as well but i have not seen her. I wish i could! I have no idea where she is!
    I will be keeping a eye on future events and seeing how things turn out. Thanks for commenting and helping me.
    Hannah xx

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  4. Just saw your new post and while the council have to consider a new application from anyone, whether thats new or even the previous owners, they only have to consider it and you still have the right to object to it. They are perfectly able to reject an application on the grounds of excessive noise being created in the vicinity/anti social behaviour before/during/after club hours and can either reject it in it's entirity or add a set of conditions to the license that have to be followed if the application is granted.

    Unless it's in a major city centre 3am is a little excessive in terms of opening times, 2am is the most we ever granted and that was just outside London. If noise levels had been an issue in the past there could be a condition of soundproofing added to the license, they can also stipulate how many door men the club has to have to deal with any trouble arising in and around the premises and loads more conditions besides. If you complained about the club before, or your neighbours etc did, and you have copies of diary sheets you sent to the police/council you can use those to back up your complaint too. The petition would help too especially if there are lots of names on it.

    If you're unlucky and the license does go through make sure you keep a record of everything that goes on, excessive noise, even the slightest disturbance related to the club. Take copies, one for yourself, one for the police, one for environmental health re the noise and one for the anti social behaviour unit at the council and keep sending them until something is done. Once they receive them they have to be logged and addressed and if they get enough complaints about the club they can review it's license and even revoke it if you're lucky.

    Sounds like an awful lot of work and far too much to take in but if you need anything just tweet me @MumReinvented xxxx

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  5. I completely get it.
    I had awful neighbours at one point - they were at work all day, walked through the front door at 5 to 7 (a time still ingrained into my memory) and turned the stereo on as they arrived. It was on every evening til midnight and all weekend, from Friday at 5 to 7 pretty much through to Sunday evening. It was a terrace and the neighbours on the other side complained to me, as it was so loud it was even coming through to them.
    I have never cried so much...
    If the licence was revoked once, let's hope it will be thrown out again. I've got everything crossed.
    Ellen

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    1. Hi Ellen, thanks it's a nightmare isn't it. I wish we could have a damn break we also have experience with loud neighbours so i totally feel your pain. I totally get where you're coming from, I also have never ever cried so much as when i cant sleep and just want peace and quiet and all you have is noise, It's just not fair is it.
      Thank you for your support and kind words xx

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  6. That is awful hun hope you can sort it all soon my best mate lived behind a night club and I hated staying round as it was so loud and constantly gettin the drunks waking by the window. Keep your chin up and keep fighting mwahhhh xXx

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    1. Thank you so much Rea, even if you only stayed with your friend once you can firmly put yourself in the shoes if those of us who live behind these awful places! Im keeping everything crossed too so thank :) xxx

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