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Tobacco Dock ordered to install noise reducing screen

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 March 2020

Representatives for Tobacco Dock said the noise levels in the flats opposite Skylight had been tested and were not excessive. Picture: Ken Mears

Representatives for Tobacco Dock said the noise levels in the flats opposite Skylight had been tested and were not excessive. Picture: Ken Mears

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Managers of Tobacco Dock have been told they must do more to stop noise from its rooftop cocktail bar “ruining” the summers of nearby residents.

Tower Hamlets Council has ordered the venue in Wapping to put up a noise reducing screen in its Skylight bar after residents complained excessive loud music and the "awful singing" of customers was making their lives "a misery".

The Grade I-listed converted Victorian warehouse has hosted a diverse range of events, including Europe's largest tattoo festival and the 2019 Liberal Democrats EU election campaign.

Skylight, which opened in the summer of 2017, can contain more than 600 people and is often used for drinks receptions after events in the main conference centre.

But residents living in flats opposite said the noise from the sound system was often "deafening".

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Neighbour Jack Hunter told a licensing committee on Tuesday, March 4: "We can't open our windows in the summer because of the dance music blaring out. It completely ruins our summers and makdes our lives a misery. Drunk customers are screaming and shouting to be heard over the music. It's constant."

Labour councillor Denise Jones supported the residents at the meeting. She said some were forced to "watch their television with headphones on because the noise coming from the bar was so loud".

Neighbour Gavin Mitchell added: "Every evening and weekend that the bar is open is ruined because of the loud music, yelling, shouting and regular awful singing of 'Happy Birthday' that comes from Skylight."

Representatives for Tobacco Dock said the noise levels in the flats opposite Skylight had been tested and were not excessive. They added that a limiter prevented the music levels from becoming louder than the current licence allowed.

Jonathan Read, Tobacco Dock's commercial director, said: "There are robust measures already in place."

The committee ordered a condition that a noise reducing screen be put up on the side of the bar opposite the flats was added to the licence. The size and material the screen is made from will be decided by the council's environmental health team.


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