NTBCC minutes – Monday 12 September 2016

Minutes of New Town and Broughton Community Council, Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 12 September 2016

1. Attendance and apologies for absence

1.2 Present

Community Councillors

Ian Mowat (chair)                    NTBCC

Stephen Hajducki                    NTBCC

Chris Collins                             NTBCC

Judy Conn                                 NTBCC

Claire Miller                             NTBCC

Jack Hugh                                NTBCC

Richard Price                           NTBCC

Christine Ross                         NTBCC

Alan Welsh                               NTBCC

Iain McGill                               NTBCC

Jonathan Finn                         NTBCC

Carol Nimmo                           NTBCC

CEC Councillors

Cllr Joanna Mowat                 City Centre Ward

Cllr Lesley Hinds                     Inverletih Ward

Police

PC Chris Green

PC Paul Rich

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MUSIC IS AUDIBLE CONSULTATION – Representation by Community Council

New Town & Broughton Community council have objected  to the proposal currently being consulted on by Edinburgh City Council to replace the current licensing condition which requires amplified music to be inaudible in nearby residential properties with one which merely requires that it shall not be an audible nuisance. Our objection is based on the following reasons:

  • the present condition is clear cut and readily enforceable, whereas the proposed condition is subjective – who decides what is a “nuisance”? Who arbitrates in a difference of viewpoint?
  • supporters claim it will enable Licensing Standards Officers to make a “fairer and more balanced judgement”. In reality, it will have the opposite effect of making judgements more difficult and subjective, harder to resolve satisfactorily, and therefore open to judicial review
  • the proposal is at variance with the Music Venues Trust recommendations that, when a venue opens up in an existing area, the venue operator as “agent of change” must ensure soundproofing
  • although it is claimed that the inaudibility clause discourages musicians from performing in Edinburgh, no evidence has been produced to support this view. Indeed, the city has a thriving music scene. Venues which have failed have done so for commercial / management reasons
  • research shows that exposure to persistent noise can lead to health problems – deafness and chronic stress is linked to heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and immune problems
  • if Edinburgh’s policy is stricter than many other places, it reflects the need to protect the amenity of the unusually high residential component in the centre. This sector makes a valuable contribution to the economic health of the city, far greater than the music industry
  • we note that the main agitation seems to be from venue proprietors rather than musicians, which suggests commercial motivation rather than altruistic support for the arts
  • as other cities rediscover urban living, the Edinburgh policy could set the way forward rather than being perceived as outdated and restrictive

The full representation submitted by NTBCC can be viewed here