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Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe faces “closure” due to ongoing noise dispute

A new petition has been launched to show support for the venue

By Nick Reilly

Manchester's Night & Day Cafe
Manchester's Night & Day Cafe (Picture: Press)

The owners of Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe say they face the threat of closure after being handed a Noise Abatement Notice.

The venue, which has hosted early shows from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, My Chemical Romance, Elbow and Snow Patrol, was reportedly handed the notice by Manchester City Council earlier this month after facing a noise complaint from a nearby resident.

“Night & Day has been served a Noise Abatement Notice by Manchester City Council,” they wrote on Twitter.

They went on to claim that the council believes the venue is a “noise nuisance” and has threatened to close the grassroots venue for good.

In the wake of the new ruling, Night & Day Cafe has shared a new petition for gig-goers to show their support.

On the petition page, organisers said the latest dispute had arisen from a single complaint.

“During lockdown a new resident moved to Manchester and to a property that’s within close proximity to the venue,” it said.

“As the restrictions lifted and life retuned to the surrounding Northern Quarter area, we were able to put on our first live music event. The resident visited us next day and has since reported us to Manchester City Council a number of times. We have met the resident a number of times to explain what we do and that nothing has changed operationally to how we operated pre-lock down and the 28 years prior to that.”

It added: “We ask for Manchester City Council Licensing to remove our Noise Abatement Notice and for the Council to address the real issue here which is that housing with ill-considered planning and construction has been approved and built next to a pre-existing live music business. Night & Day is located at 26 Oldham Street. Over the past 15 years, flats have been built or existing buildings converted to flats around us with no real thought or consideration to the pre-existing business, building and what it does.”

According to official Government guidance, councils are obliged to investigate noise complaints that could be deemed a “statutory notice”, as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If they then agree with the complaint, the person responsible is handled an abatement notice.

Those responsible could be forced to pay costly fines for every time they fail to comply, while councils are also able to apply to the High Court for an injunction if a prosecution is not adequate.

Under current government legislation, property developers are responsible for managing the impact of noise when building properties in an area where noise may emanate from a long established venue. It is known as the Agent of Change Principle.

Manchester City Council said: “To be clear the Council has not threatened Night and Day with closure. A Noise Abatement Notice (NAN) has been issued following complaints of excessive noise. A NAN cannot be used to close a venue, it is used to prevent continued noise nuisance. 

“Following a number of repeated complaints from residents living nearby the Council investigated allegations of excessive noise coming from Night and Day. During these visits the Council’s officers found that noise levels were causing a nuisance. 

“The Council has a duty to investigate complaints of noise nuisance and where a statutory nuisance is found to have occurred, the Council is under a duty to serve an Abatement Notice on the person responsible. The Council has on multiple occasions   tried to engage with this venue to try and reach a solution which works both for them, and residents. In spite of this further issues were reported, which meant the Council was left with no option other than to issue a NAN. 

“The venue is entitled to appeal this Notice, and we would encourage them to work with the Council to avoid any future enforcement action.” 

The latest battle over the venue’s future comes after they faced the same order in 2014, prompting an outpouring of support from the likes of Johnny Marr and The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess.

After receiving the complaint, the council reviewed the venue and served an abatement notice because the noise levels amounted to a statutory nuisance.

The notice resulted a review hearing where the venue was told to keep noise levels to a level which “does not cause problems to residents of nearby properties”.