Earlier this year BPS Bars Ltd lodged plans with the authority to open Serenity in the former Carousel shop in St Nicholas Street.
It was hoped that the business would operate as a café during the day before switching to the bar and cinema in the evening.
Planning officers, however, have refused permission for the conversion of the building, saying that the applicant’s sound monitoring report fell short of the level required.
The council’s own Environmental Health officer savaged the report, noting: “The supporting environmental noise survey would appear to consist of a comparison of noise readings taken in a different property, (built in a more modern era than that of the Victorian property for which planning permission is being sought) and using data from a Part E Building Regs test previously carried out on a floor from within another building (described as separating a 9th and 10th Floor).
“In essence the report is based on predictions and not based on the actual situation.”
The officer adds that no information is given on the qualifications of the person who compiled the sound report and they also highlighted concerns about the cinema.
They added: “There is no reference to cinema noise, although it is proposed this will be located in the basement and the Management Plan refers to no travel of sound upstairs. This would appear to be an assumption of no flanking transmission and no validation is given to this statement by a qualified acoustician.”
Planning officers, therefore, refused the application for the change of use for the building, noting: “The submitted acoustic report and management plan fails to properly consider the aforementioned risks to amenity due to noise, and as such it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated to the Local Planning Authority that the development will not give rise to unacceptable un-neighbourly impacts.”
The applicant can now appeal the decision or submit a new application with a sound report addressing the authority’s concerns.
In the supporting documents submitted to the council the applicant said that the businesses would have operated as a café between the hours of 9am to 5.30pm serving hot/cold drinks and a selection of cold foods before switching to a bar and cinema in the evening.
There would have been two “mixologists” on hand when it became a bar to prepare “delicious and quirky” drinks and cocktails.