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5,000 MAKE A NOISE FOR DIGBETH

08-06-2009

More than 5,000 people have signed a Facebook petition protesting against the threat from Birmingham’s “noise enforcement Taliban” to Digbeth’s Rainbow pub. And they aren’t the only ones critical of the Council over the issue – as a recent AWM report makes clear.

The Facebook petition emerged following complaints by a handful of residents which jeopardised the popular pub and music venue.

It follows similar attacks on the nearby Spotted Dog run by former Brummie of the Year John Tighe and the Nightingale in the nearby Gay Village.

Close inspection of a recent report by the consultants WS Atkins, commissioned by Advantage West Midlands, shows that the experts are just as critical of BCC as local publicans.

Atkins report for example, that many of the noise surveys for residential developments in Digbeth were not carried out at the weekend when the likes of The Rainbow and Spotted Dog have their noisiest events; and it also describes the “mistakes” associated with the Abacus apartments in the area – “mistakes” for which, incidentally, no City Council officer has even been publicly held to account.

It suggests a series of local agreements between venues and residents, and even an Australian-style “try before you buy” scheme to enable prospective purchasers to experience the vibrancy of Digbeth in advance of purchasing a property.

Meanwhile complaints on The Stirrer Forum that Atkins failed to consult widely enough have been rejected by AWM.

A spokesman said: “This consultation, primarily targeted at businesses and developers, has filled in gaps of technical information about noise levels in the Digbeth area.

“The public meeting to launch the study is only the start of an important debate. The consultation is ongoing.”

To see AWM’s executive summary click here (pdf file)

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