Application submitted for premises licence at former Northampton Soundhaus venue to host Romanian weddings

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A licensing hearing has been called to approve a premises licence submitted by a new owner of a former music venue in Northampton.

Moldova JR Ltd has applied for a grant premises licence at the former Soundhaus music venue in Great Russell Street

Documents submitted to Northampton Borough Council say that the existing building consists of two function rooms divided by the main entrance and a lobby with a capacity for 150 patrons in function room one and a capacity for 70 people in function room two.

In a noise assessment, David Randall of Rand Tech Consulting said: "The building at 76-92 Great Russell Street, a purpose built nightclub and entertainment venue, formerly the Soundhaus night club, is to be operated as function rooms for Romanian weddings venues."

The noise assessment looks at the impact on residential properties surrounding the site when in operation after midnight.

The document concludes: "Based on our inspection and testing of the two function rooms, improving the noise insulation performance of the two emergency exits as advised and actively controlling the operational noise level within the function rooms, when used for Romanian wedding functions, the noise emission from the building radiating towards the noise sensitive windows on the rear facade of the terraced houses adjacent to the rear site boundary, can be controlled to a level unlikely to cause a nuisance during night time period of low background noise.

"The existing building was purpose built as a nightclub and is very situated to the proposed new use, only requiring the improvement in the noise insulation performance of the function room emergency exit doors, that are obviously deficient compared to the noise insulation performance of the overall building envelope."

To date, there is no set plans where both function rooms would host events at the same time.

Despite efforts by Moldova to make the former music venue sound proofed, senior environmental health officer for Northampton Borough Council, Louise Marshall said in an objection letter: "I am objecting to the above application on the grounds of prevention of public nuisance.

"Based on the information submitted, I have concerns about the potential for noise and disturbance on the premises."

This comes after police were called to Moldova to reports of "extremely loud music" coming from the former Soundhaus building on April 30 at 5.35am

A concerned caller told police that he thought the building was not in use and "persons may have gained entry illegally in order to play music," incident logs submitted to Northampton Borough Council licensing department say.

In a previous licencing hearing on May 10 2017, an arrangement to modify three temporary event notices to reduce event hours and restrict the type of musical activity at the former Soundhaus venue were unanimously approved by councillors.

Now as part of the prevention of crime and disorder, various steps will be introduced to ensure the venue, if granted a premises license, does not become a public nuisance.

In new grant premises licence papers, licencing consultant, John Birch said:

"A fully working and maintained CCTV system capable of recording and storing images must be installed on the premises.

As well as this a minimum of two licensed door supervisors must be employed and on duty at the premises at all times when events involving 100 or more people - not including staff members - are taking place after 11pm on a Friday and Saturday."

Customers must not take open vessels of alcohol from the premises at any time.

The premises licence holder must keep an up to date list of all members of the management team including contact numbers, available on request.

A member of the management team must be on duty and present on the premises at all times after 10pm.

Every person employed at the premises must prove their Right to Work in the UK copies of documentation.

Mr Birch added: "Based on similar venues elsewhere guests arrive at different times between 6pm and approximatley 9pm and depart at staggered times based on family circumstances.

"Functions take the form that guests bring their own alcohol and food, there are circumstances when the venue will actually cook the food.

"The trading pattern based on experience and other similar venues show that most functions will take place on a Saturday into Sunday or on a Sunday prior to a bank holiday Monday and generally one function per week."