Neighbours’ noise concerns took centre stage on Thursday as they argued against changes to a Worthing bar and music venue’s licence.
Bar 42, in Marine Parade, sought permission to play recorded music until 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – two hours later than its licence currently allows.
The venue also wanted to introduce a 90-decibel limit for the late-night entertainment rather than rely on an ‘ambiguous’ condition which did not set a specific limit.
Residents claimed they were often disturbed by music and customers outside the bar and feared the changes would lead to the same problems.
Addressing Worthing Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee, Paul Crone, of Marine Parade, said: “We have experienced a great deal of shouting when people leave the premises late at night. That would move from 11pm to 1am with more people.”
The application was opposed by eight residents and council’s environmental protection team.
“It is our belief that it would give rise to public nuisance at a time when people are trying to sleep,” said Nadeem Shad, council team leader for environmental protection.
Daniel Parsonage, a friend of bar owner Mark Knowles, said they had offered to reduce the proposed limit to 80 decibels, which was ‘quieter than local cinemas’.
Mr Shad said the offer needed to be looked at in more detail.
The committee granted the extension of hours – but after a private deliberation said the limit should be 70 decibels. They ordered the noise to be controlled by a device locked by a code set by the council.
After the hearing, Mr Knowles said he believed the council had shown ‘a complete lack of knowledge and judgement’. He added: “Our representation was ignored throughout and once we get the transcript from the meeting and go through the details we’ll make those details public.”