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Wine bar to be opened in apartment block housing elderly residents in Ancoats

  • New bistro wine bar will be opened on ground floor of building
  • Worries from residents about noise coming fom bar

An application to install a bistro wine bar in a building in Ancoats used as social housing for elderly residents has been granted.

The application before Manchester's licensing sub-committee was granted despite residents warning that it would prove detrimental to the elderly living in the accommodation. 

The bar, which will be open until 11pm, will operate in Victoria Square. The application was made by James Spalding and his business partner Rashid Khan.

Representing them , Felicity Tulloch of Kuits Solicitors, told the meeting that to reduce noise and smoke pollution to the residents of the building customers could only go outside after 9pm to smoke and that there would be a limit of up to five people at a time.

Tulloch said the bar would create jobs and help restore a neglected building. She acknowledged that the bar would be located beneath residential accommodation and said that a noise impact survey had been conducted.

She said that the windows to the bar do not open which would prevent noise pollution, and that this coupled with the extra measures for outdoors would be enough to justify being granted the application. 

Residents of the building attended the meeting. Neighbours Ged Reek and Pam Reilly, who have lived in the building for seven years and 11 years respectively, objected to the application.

They said there were many bars already opened over the past few years in the area. They also brought up the fact that the bar will be installed in the bottom floor of a building comprised of flats that house elderly people. 

Mr Reek said: “A lot of older people obviously go to bed a bit earlier and this place will be open till late at night.

"There’s talk about tables and chairs being put away at nine o’clock at night but I can’t see it happening.”

Despite objections the application was granted, with the decision coming down to “real evidence and not concerns.”

The committee was satisfied with the conditions presented, coupled with the reduced hours to only allow people outside after 9pm and to close at 11pm. 

Former resident Joan Kempson has been involved in the planning process through a film project she is working on.

“We all got together and I just let people talk and give their opinions and I filmed them, and then I wrote scripts for some of the scenes with points that had to be made,” she said.

Joan said she hoped the film would raise awareness of community issues.

“When I was at the hearing I thought, there is only a handful of us here and look at the population of Manchester," she said.

"How many people know about the cogs that are going round into the machinery of what goes on and how somebody obtains a licence and the process of that?

"So it was to inform people regardless of the decision.”

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