Leeds Rhinos' stadium bar plans go back before planning chiefs

A view towards Headingley's two stadiums.
A view towards Headingley's two stadiums.

Plans for an alcohol licence in a stadium will go back before decision-makers next week, following residents’ concerns over noise levels.

Leeds City Council’s planning sub committee had met to discuss the application for a licence at a new bar in the soon-to-be-finished south stand at Leeds Rhinos’ rugby ground back in October.

But, after representations from local residents and councillors, the panel said it would not agree to grant the licence until the applicants had conducted a study on the stadium’s noise impact in the local area.

If the application is accepted, the new licence would allow the bar to serve alcohol and play live and recorded music until 11.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

An independent review into noise levels from the stadium’s PA system states that no noise levels from the ground exceed sound regulations.

A subsequent report from Leeds City Council’s environmental health department reads: “Recommendations were made by Apex Acoustics to reduce volume of loudspeakers at the Weslem end of the south stand and at the eastern end of the stand on St Michaels Lane and we believe sufficient efforts have been made to assess noise and vibration from PA systems at Emerald Headíngley Stadium.

“The assessment results do not raise any particular concerns that noise or vibration would be intrusive or impact upon occupants of surrounding residential properties. However it is our recommendation that the proposed mitigation measures in the report by Apex Acoustics are implemented.”

The application had received a number of objections from locals.

One letter to the council stated: “While the noise from match days at the cricket and rugby is tolerable, the scope of the new licence is so wide that it could severely affect our quiet enjoyment of our home, garden and street, as well as having a significantly detrimental impact on our local community.

“We also have concerns about the consequential impacts that would inevitably come from such a premises such as increased litter, piles of vomit and further concerns of antisocial behaviour.”

Another letter from a local resident claimed: “It is already not unusual to step over a pile of vomit, or see wheelie bins that have been knocked over in ‘high frivolity’ by drunken people on the way home from a night out.

“To grant another licence to a business in Headingley would be irresponsible of the council and seriously questionable.”

The council’s licensing sub-committee will meet on Tuesday, December 4 at 1.30pm to discuss the application.