Residents argue against Worthing bar’s hours extension

Bar 42, in Marine Parade, Worthing
Bar 42, in Marine Parade, Worthing

A SEAFRONT music venue will not open for longer after councillors rejected a licence extension following numerous noise complaints.

Bar 42, in Marine Parade, Worthing, applied to serve alcohol and play recorded music until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays – an hour later than currently allowed.

Neighbouring residents lodged eight objections against the application, which was rejected by Worthing Borough Council’s licensing and control committee on Monday.

Registering his objection, resident John Comerford said: “Sadly, the noise has got continuously worse. It is horrendous, obtrusive and stressful.

“A home should be a place of rest, not stress.”

The hearing, at Worthing Town Hall, heard from four residents and Nadeem Shad, the council’s senior environmental health officer.

Mr Shad said there had been 14 official noise complaints since the bar opened in 2011, although residents at the hearing suggested they had given up complaining because they were never actioned.

Bar owner Mark Knowles claimed the complaints were ‘malicious’ – an allegation strongly denied at the hearing.

He said: “This is the malicious nature of complaints we have to endure from our neighbours. They lie, they embellish and they complain.”

Councillors were played a sound recording taken inside an adjoining flat in August, which featured a crowd of people shouting and screaming outside.

But Mr Knowles asked for a second clip to be played, which was far quieter, with the noise drowned out by passing traffic.

Other complaints included a resident being ‘heckled’ by Bar 42 customers while sitting on her balcony and another described seeing two men run across the road and simulate a ‘lewd’ act in the nude before heading back into the bar – although Mr Knowles denied they were customers.

Residents also claimed they struggled to sleep as they could constantly hear the noise from the bar’s music.

But Mr Knowles said he believed the complaints were mostly related to live music, not the recorded music which would be played during the hours extension.

He told the committee he had spent £13,000 on soundproofing in an attempt to cure the issues raised and needed the extension to help him continue to support cultural events.

He has 21 days to appeal against the decision.