AFTER reading Susan Rebecchi’s impassioned plea on behalf of Barearts (letters, August 18), I felt compelled to write as a neighbour of the establishment to put a different view on the situation.
Ms Rebecchi is correct that the establishment was originally opened as an off-licence and then became, essentially, a pub.
They did indeed get the correct licence from Calderdale Council for this, and for the performance of live music.
They did not, however, have planning permission for anything other than the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises. At no point, after the initial application for off-licence sales, were neighbours consulted, or even informed, of the change of use - it was presented as a “fait accompli”.
The only reason that the incorrect planning permission situation was discovered was that they had decided that they wished to open seven days a week. I can assure Ms Rebecchi that more than one objection was placed, and that these objections covered more than the issue of noise nuisance.
The owners of Barearts have indeed installed sound-proofing, but this is not in any way, shape or form one hundred per cent effective.
We do not live directly above the business, but are neighbours, and we can regularly hear the noise from performers over the noise of the television or music that we are playing in our own home.
There is also the issue of parking.
We regularly have patrons parking right across our driveway, and have been subjected to verbal abuse when we have politely asked them not to park there.
The owners of Barearts are aware of this issue, as they have in the past apologised for their patrons doing this.
Whilst the majority of customers are gone by 10.30pm (although the noise of them leaving has on occasion woken our two children, which is somewhat annoying on a “school night” to say the least), there have been numerous occasions where we have been disturbed by people leaving the premises much later.
Finally, the use of the rear yard of Barearts as a “beer garden/smoking area” is also an issue.
The Cooks, when they opened the off-licence, stated to us that this was essentially a hobby. Now they wish to open a pub seven days a week, regardless of the impact on their neighbours. We have tried to be reasonable, suggesting possible solutions to the issues which we see, but have been rebuffed in our attempts.
Perhaps Todmorden Town Council and the representative on Calderdale should try talking to us, as they are elected to represent ALL the inhabitants of Todmorden not just the businesses.