A planned late-night outdoor bar area at a Hereford nightclub has been given the go-ahead despite official concerns over noise.

Steven Harrison had applied to extend the licence of The Venue in Gaol Street to the new bar, next to an existing garden and smoking area, which could then stay open until 3.30am.

Herefordshire Council’s principal environmental health officer Elisabeth Laughland told the council’s licensing subcommittee last Thursday (August 17) that extending the licensed area in this way “would in effect create an outside pub area”, making The Venue “a late-night outdoor pub” as well as a nightclub.


This “raises significant concerns over the people noise in this small area”, which “a significant number” of flats back onto, she said.

She was also concerned about “high-volume music breakout from the nightclub to the outside area” via the connecting door.

But she acknowledged: “Currently we do not have any noise complaints on this premises.”


Mr Harrison told the committee he had owned the club for 27 years, and it had already offered customers use of the outside area for the 16 of these. In this time he had installed various measures to minimise noise from the club while maintaining good relations with neighbouring businesses and residents.

The new outdoor bar would reduce the frequency of the door opening between the nightclub and the outdoor area, he claimed, with a qualified doorman ensuring it was otherwise closed, while “showing presence to stop rowdy behaviour”.

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Mr Harrison added that he bought three of the closest flats to the yard earlier this year, from which he monitors noise, so far “with no complaint or issues”.

“We have had no [official] noise complaints in three years,” in contrast to other city venues, he added.

Councillors on the committee agreed to permit the licence extension to the outside bar, though its chair Coun Polly Andrews said the committee “fully recognises the concerns raised”.

She emphasised that residents with concerns over noise can put these to either the council’s licensing or its environmental health departments.