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Neath Port Talbot Politics South Wales

Pontardawe pubs come to agreement with Neath Port Talbot Council on noise issues

The Other Place

A LIVE music venue in Pontardawe has come to an agreement with Neath Port Talbot Council this month, after an Environmental Health review of the premises took place following a series of noise complaints.

The Other Place bar in Pontardawe has become known locally for its live music and events over the years, however a number of complaints from nearby residents about the levels of noise sparked a review of the premises in 2022.

While hundreds in the area quickly started up a petition in defence of the popular venue, it was later concluded by Environmental Health Officers who carried out a noise monitoring programme over the summer months, that the complaints made by residents were valid.

The team reported that nuisance occurred on approximately seven occasions,  including an excessively loud event in the beer garden where the band playing had speakers facing the boundary with Ynysderw Road, which was in breach of the licence.

The report read: “The nuisance is comprised of excessively loud electronically amplified music, usually with drums, electric guitars and singing, and usually lasts for approximately 2 hours.

“The Officers have not been present for all events, due to staffing issues, but on those occasions where they have been present; nuisance has been witnessed. Making the primary concern for The Environmental Health Team being repeated, excessively loud music emanating from the premises.”

As well as the high levels of noise, other issues in the report included pub goers being granted entry to the premises after hours, and hanging around  late at night shouting and talking loudly, in an area with a high percentage of older residents and working families.

The report went on: “It is the opinion of the officers of the Environmental Health team that the structure and location of this premises is not suitable for the type of entertainment the licensee wishes to provide.”

While live music is expected to return to the venue in the future, the licence holder will now have to undertake a Noise Impact Assessment to present to officers in the Environmental Health team before this can happen.

They will also have to uphold a number of conditions that will include things such as, no regulated entertainment taking place outside the hours of 8am and 11pm, and no external amplified sound in the external areas of the premises, including the beer garden and car park.

It was noted however that this could be amended for special events such as the Pontadawe Festival that takes place in the town each year.

While all parties, including representatives from the licence holder, residents, and environmental health team said they were sorry that the issue had reached this stage, all in attendance were happy to move forward provided these new conditions were met.