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Noise laws threaten new venue

Another small music venue is under threat of closure as a result of noise legislation in England and Wales.

The Boileroom in Guildford has been a family-run business for eight years, but the two tenants in the house next door have raised a complaint with the local council.

Currently one single negative report is all that’s needed to have a pub’s licence revoked – a situation the Music Venue Trust is fighting to change.

Owner Dominique Frazer, who’s won a Noise Abatement Society award for the way the venue operates, says: “Our fairly new neighbours who rent the house adjacent have put in an application to review our licence, with the direct intention and request that the council revoke it with immediate effect.

“The message is very clear: they want to shut us down.”

She says over 25,000 people have been served as happy customers in the past year, including local musicians’ schemes, schools and charities. Other community-facing events include an annual street party and matinee shows for under-18s.

As the Boileroom is in a residential area, Frazer continues, “from the outset we have always been very proactive and conscious that what we do should not adversely affect the lives of our local residents. We have a great relationship with the majority of our neighbours. This review is being sought by 2 people.”

The petition has been signed by over 4000 people with 10,000 required.

Last month the Fleece in Bristol launched an appeal for support, fearing they’d be forced to close if a nearby office block was converted into homes. The Blind Tiger in Brighton shut the same week after a complaint from a single neighbour. Last year Manchester’s Night And Day found itself under threat while the 200 Club in Newport closed.

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi this week spoke of his regret as the Birmingham venue in which they forged their career was sold to developers.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.