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The Old Bank in Dinas Powys gets licence despite complaints

A NEW bistro and bar in Dinas Powys has been granted a premises licence despite noise complaints from neighbours.

The Old Bank opened last month in a former Natwesk bank branch, serving food, wine and cocktails.

Vale of Glamorgan council’s licensing committee granted the venue a licence to serve alcohol, on Wednesday, May 4. However, the council’s environmental health department is currently investigating noise complaints allegedly coming from the premises.

The 1920s-inspired bar, on the corner of Mill Road and Elm Grove Road, is opposite two of village pubs, but will not be allowed to stay open as late as them, instead closing at 11pm on most days. The venue had been initially using temporary event licences to serve alcohol.

Matthew Phipps, a solicitor representing the venue, told the licensing committee that the venue had been well insulated, and any excess noise on the opening night would be a one-off and not repeated.

He said: “We’re a much needed alternative to the pub environment which is well catered for in the village.

“One of the concerns of residents is effectively to suggest the premises haven’t been suitably insulated.

“We simply don’t accept that.

“We have done a simulated acoustic test, with appropriate experts to ensure those [insulation works] are delivering.

“We don’t accept that we’re a problem premises, nor that we’re likely to ever be one.

“Our hours are reasonable, we’re small in size, it’s all seated and food underpins the offer.

“The rear service yard complained about is just a service yard and escape route, and no more.

“We don’t accept that on April 7 there was a public nuisance or anything of that sort.

“But it was our opening night. Did people stay a little bit later, did they leave together? Probably they did, but that’s something we want to stay on top of and continue to manage.”

While the council is investigating complaints including shouting and loud music from the bar, no substantial evidence has yet been found. Some complaints made to the council mentioned a noisy blender, although this could actually belong to the deli next door.

Richard Romero, a council officer, said: “We have had about five complaints regarding noise and odour coming from the premises. The procedure is that a complainant will come to us and we’ll send them instructions for a noise app to make any recordings.

“It might be that the noise we’ve had is specifically to do with a smoothie maker, which [the Old Bank] is saying is coming from the premises next door, and they’re mistakenly getting blamed for it. That’s why we need to go back to the complainant and get further information on that.

“We have our procedures where we would need to go out and witness the noise ourselves. My colleague has been out on two occasions and hasn’t witnessed any adverse activities from the premises.

“So at the moment we have no substantial evidence to say that there is an issue there. But investigations are still ongoing. It’s the nature of the beast with environmental health, it’s a slow process to get that information to see if it is an issue or not.”

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