Residents have failed in a bid to curtail a hotel’s alcohol licence after a noisy private party kept them awake all night — months before the business has even opened.
A 75-year-old woman wearing a dressing gown and an oxygen mask, because of ill-health, had to walk over the road to ask Artist Residence in St Paul’s to turn the music down but to no avail, Bristol city councillors were told.
Cave Court Residents Group applied for a review of the premises licence on the grounds of public nuisance, saying trust had “entirely broken down” with the new luxury boutique hotel, set to open this spring.
But a panel at City Hall rejected the bid after hearing that because the party was private with a free bar, it was not operating under the licence and had not required a temporary event notice.
Neither the police nor environmental health backed the application to restrict the hours booze can be sold.
Resident Tony Gosling told licensing sub-committee members that a 75-year-old neighbour named Ruth felt “intimidated”.
“She was driven mad that the party went on so late.
“In her dressing gown and with her oxygen equipment, she crossed the road to the premises and asked them to turn the music off because she could not sleep.
“This was not very dignified for a 75-year-old.
“Her windows were rattling until 3am.
“Several people were crying and had to move rooms to sleep.
“What we are seeing now is far worse than when the building had squatters.
“Ruth feels like people are moving in next door and making her life a misery and she is extremely concerned about levels of noise at night.”
He said some householders were considering moving away.
“The trust has entirely broken down with Artist Residence,” Mr Gosling added.
Hotel barrister Mark Browning told the meeting on Thursday (January 30): “I find it odd that we are here because a normal approach would be to have a conversation about an issue like this.
“We have always been open to a conversation and dialogue with local residents.
“We are extremely sorry for any noise at this party. There is no excuse.
“We just wish there had been some conversation about it.
“We could have done better. We should have got some note out locally and said there was going to be a party.
“When the licence comes into operation it has a raft of conditions dealing with noise nuisance.
“They were very carefully considered by the licensing committee to ensure residents were protected from noise.
“The hotel is installing secondary glazing which will help.”
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Hotel manager Nick Ledgard said: “We want to be a positive addition to the area.
“What makes a good business is being in the community and with the community, not being trouble to the community.”
Artist Residence co-founder Justin Salisbury said: “We are very apologetic about what has happened.
“We have fantastic relationships with residents near all our premises.
“This was a one-off party which in no way reflects how we would run the business.
“We have 23 bedrooms which cost from £100 to £250 a night, and clearly we need to make sure those guests can sleep, otherwise we will go bankrupt.
“I am very open to have discussions about how we can improve the noise control.”
The hotel’s licence allows it to keep the bar open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and 1am the rest of the week when it opens.
Seinor licensing officer Abigail Holman said the council had received no complaints about noise, including from the party in November.
Announcing the sub-committee’s decision, chairman Cllr Peter Abraham said: “The grounds for review have not been met, therefore we do not feel it is appropriate to take any further steps today.
“But we feel there should be progress towards proper negotiations with residents and I hope you live up to the promises you made to us today and give them notice when they can expect events that might cause noise.”