Concerns raised as Cross Gates restaurant allowed to host party until 3am
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Leeds City Council’s environmental health team had objected to the party, citing noise complaints from previous late-night dos at the restaurant, which serves African and Caribbean food.
But restaurant boss Jimmy Sydney attributed those issues to the previous managers, who he claimed “didn’t care about the community”.
Speaking at a licensing hearing on Tuesday, Elizabeth Hebbert from environmental health, said: “There’s potential for nuisance from loud music, but also noise from people coming and going from the premises in the early hours.
“Especially if people have been drinking, there’s potential noise from voices and from vehicles transporting people to and from the premises late at night.”
The hearing was told that this party would be the seventh late-night event held under a temporary licence this calendar year.
Ms Hebbert later added: “If Mr Sydney wanted a venue where he could host recurring late-night events, I wouldn’t have advised a restaurant unit in Crossgates Shopping Centre.
“Cross Gates is a quieter area at night. It’s a mixed use commercial and residential area.”
Councillors were told that parties at the premises in late June and early July had each prompted a single complaint about noise nuisance from a neighbour.
On the first occasion it was claimed music had been heard until around 4am.
But the local authority confirmed it had not received any complaints regarding two separate events held at Lake Victoria in August and September.
Mr Sydney told the hearing: “I just don’t think it’s a fair objection.
“I believe the events can be managed so that they don’t cause a nuisance in terms of noise.
“I believe that the flats aren’t close enough to cause a nuisance to.
“For the music to get that loud we’d need to have very big speakers, which we don’t have.”
Mr Sydney said he’d employed security personnel on the doors of the restaurant to help manage the flow of people coming in and out for the events he’d hosted, since taking control of the diner.
He also said he needed to hold the party until 3am as some of his friends were working late and coming from as far away as London and Manchester.
He added: “I don’t believe it’s fair if it’s cancelled based on previous management that had no care about the community they moved into.
“I wasn’t managing the restaurant at that time. It was managed by some friends of mine and they didn’t care about the community.
“I’ve got this restaurant now and I’ve got five years with it and I know I have get on with the community. I understand what the community wants.”
The panel of two councillors approved a licence for the party to go ahead, saying they “accepted Mr Sydney would put in place suitable measures” to prevent public nuisance.