Bar bosses have branded noise complaints over their bid to launch a city centre nightclub as “nonsense”.
Cova’s bid to turn a Glasgow venue into a nightclub were turned down by councillors in March amid concerns the change would have “significant” impact on nearby residents.
The West Regent Street bar – which wants to extend the opening hours from midnight to 4am – is now calling for the decision to be overturned.
An appeal states no residents live in the B-listed five-storey building – 57 West Regent Street – or the adjoining buildings. “This is significant as the entire basis for the refusal is the alleged impact on residential amenity,” it adds.
Planning officials ruled the change of use would have a “significant adverse impact” on residential amenity, with “unacceptable” noise and disturbance at “unsociable” hours. It would have a “significant detrimental impact on resident’s well-being”, they added.
Ahead of the appeal hearing, they have said there are residential flats at 55 West Regent Street/65 Renfield Street. The adjoining property, 55 West Regent Street, has recently received planning permission for 96 serviced apartments, a report to councillors adds.
In the appeal, Cova’s agent says there was “surprise and disappointment” over the council’s decision. It adds, apart from a “popular” nightclub in the adjacent basement premises, the rest of the building is “vacant and in a poor state”.
“The area is nonetheless popular with numerous bars, diners and clubs which cater to the city’s evening culture and economy,” the appeal adds. “In this context the appellant has decided to pursue the possibility of turning the public house into a nightclub.”
Cova’s agent claims there are no issues with noise currently and there have been no complaints. “It is nonsense to suggest that in the heart of the largest city in Scotland that any noise after 12 midnight constitutes anti-social behaviour.”
The appeal continues: “While the introduction of residential uses into the city centre in pursuit of the “living city”, where people work stay and play, is a positive and laudable aspiration, to be effective and, at the same time, have regard to the need to maintain a robust and healthy economic environment, the policy must be applied with caution.
“Other European cities such as Barcelona and Paris both have a fairly high level of residential living within the central area yet continue to offer a robust city centre experience with cafes, bars, diners and other hospitality/entertainment uses operating well into the early hours.”
It claims the council’s policy has been applied in “such a manner as to threaten and obstruct the legitimate role of commercial uses to pursue their legitimate business”.
Councillors on Glasgow’s planning review committee will consider the appeal at a meeting on Tuesday.