A third attempt is being made to overcome concerns about late-night noise and other disturbance to secure permission for bars and restaurants at West One in the Devonshire Quarter to stay open longer.
Owners of the leisure, residential, commercial and retail complex at the corner of Fitzwilliam Street and Division Street say the hours of units need to be extended to compete with other businesses in the area and for their viability.
The application is for Vodka Revolution, 23 Bar and Restaurant, Las Iguanas and The Hop in The Plaza to be allowed to stay open until 1am on Thursdays and 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays for a trial period of one year. They are currently restricted to 11.30pm every night except Sunday, 11pm.
So far councillors have refused to budge after being pressed by some of the 750 residents of the apartments and other people living nearby.
But the latest move has divided opinion, according to online feedback to the council.
West One resident Morgan Gleadall, says: “It is not necessary to keep pointing out why this application should be rejected. West One is primarily a residential building, therefore the residents’ welfare comes first, not the businesses below.”
Peter Sephton, chair of Glossop Road Baths Residents Association, says: “There are far more people living above and around these pubs than will ever be drinking there at midnight, so why should a handful of drinkers, who have plenty of other options, be allowed to disturb the sleep of a much larger number of residents?
Coun Jillian Creasy, Green councillor for the central ward, says: “Noise rises from the Plaza, which acts like an amphitheatre, and affects all the properties above it.”
Supporters of the application include Michael Dean, of Nether Edge, who says: “The West One complex is a thriving area of the city centre, and in order to keep Sheffield flourishing for the attraction of more businesses and students, the West One area needs step into line with the rest of the city.”
Peter Lee, South Yorkshire Lettings Area Manager for Blundells, says West One is still one of the most popular places to live and visit. “We let over 100 apartments a year in West One and have never had any complaints from tenants about the noise from the bars and restaurants. These users actually choose to live within West One on the basis that it is the city living lifestyle they desire.”
On behalf of applicants Devonshire Green Holdings, BNP Paribas Real Estate say other bars in the city centre, including The Bowery, Bungalows and Bears and Players have been granted extended opening hours and “there is now added pressure on the bars at The Plaza to open later in order to compete and remain viable”.
If they were to close, the impact on the vibrancy and viability of the city centre and the night time economy would be affected, which is a material planning consideration. No date has been set for a council verdict on the latest request.