An application to play music at Headingley Stadium on Sunday evenings was approved by Leeds City Council decision-makers, despite warnings from a local resident that it could “impact the quality of life” of those nearby.
Following representations from residents and a report into noise impact on the local area, the authority’s planning sub committee had met to grant a licence for the new bar in the new south stand at Leeds Rhinos’ rugby ground back in November.
The new licence allowed the bar to serve alcohol and play live and recorded music until 11.30pm from Monday to Saturday and to serve alcohol until 10.30pm on Sundays.
Today’s hearing was to hear an addition to the application to add dance, live and recorded music to the 10.30pm Sunday licence.
Applicants claimed that the plans were only to accommodate rugby matches on Sundays, and that consultation with the public had been carried out.
Harvey Willis, representing the applicants Headingley South Stand Limited said: “This variation will be used for a very limited basis for Leeds Rhinos home games that take place on Sunday evenings.”
He said there were no further plans for events on the site beyond rugby league and union matches.
Mr Willis added: “The applicant wishes to stress its intention to work with local residents rather than antagonise them in any way. If they have any difficulties about licensable activities taking place, they should contact the applicant.”
However, one local resident slammed the proposals, claiming that, while noise levels from the ground’s PA system had improved recently, they were affecting the quality of life for those living near the ground.
She said: “The level of consultation has been almost non-existent. I have found out about these things by chance.
“The level of consultation is virtually non existent. Local residents are confused about what is happening in the application.”
“The noise levels have been taken down, but it is disturbing, I still hear the noise in my house.
“I don’t mind that around sporting events, but it seems to us residents that it is clearly about making money and putting on music events and this would ruin our lives.
“It means you can’t enjoy your personal space.
“We live in an area that has a history that is trying to move on from being disturbed by noise around student behaviour. If the general flavour is around a party atmosphere, that could be worrying.”
“There are an increasing number of children living in the area. 10pm is their bedtime, and if you think the reduced noise levels are not disturbing, that is laughable.
“[Before the reduced levels] The sound system could be heard in Meanwood – my bedroom was vibrating with the noise. The fact [the levels] have been taken down from there is nothing to boast about.”
She added that she regularly has to clear bottles and fast food packaging from her garden.
“I feel confused about what this is going to mean,” she said. “When there is a potential to affect our quality of life – it makes me really angry that they say they want to work with the local community. That is ridiculous – the plan is to deal with us rather than work with us.”
Mr Willis, responded: “As far as I’m concerned, the applicant has abided by the appropriate procedures in terms of consultation. The client would deny that there wasn’t consultation with local residents. There is another meeting planned for May 29.
“They are not intending to put music events on as far as I understand, this is purely to deal with Sunday fixtures for rugby. I’m not sure where that information comes from.”
Following a 15-minute discussion, the panel resolved to grant the variation as applied for.