The following was copied from this facebook page
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Birmingham City Council EPU (Environmental Protection Unit), are today sat in session considering the serving of a noise abatement order against The Rainbow.
This is the latest move in their wish to see a once vibrant Digbeth transformed into a souless artistic wasteland populated by Stepford wives and cultural pygmies, and where the only entertainment is watching tumbleweeds race down deserted back streets.
This latest outrage is yet again the result of one – yes that is right ONE- resident of the Abacus flats complaining about a noise nuisance. This resident since occupying the flats has seen off the Spotted Dog (its nearest and most immediate target), is now close to achieving the same with The Rainbow, and will no doubt soon be turning their sights on The Rainbow Warehosue and The Custard Factory. Just how much devestation are they allowed to cause before someone has the wit to halt this senseless slaughter. Many of the councils own departments vaunt the vibrancy of Digbeth, and indeed the Planning office makes much reference to Digbeth’s unique ‘jewel in the crown’ potential as part of it’s big city plan. Just how much vibrancy will soon be left – perhaps just the vibarting echo of a hollow vaccum? Anyone who has followed this issue on line is aware of the strength of feeling it arouses, and the sheer frustration of how Birmingham seems determined to always be the ugly sister/poodle next to far more dynamic cities like Manchester, London and Liverpool who provide their cultural spaces with oxygen to breath and prosper as opposed to smothering them. No-one can underestimate the significance of art and cultutre on the desirability of a city to live and work in – and it is generally a city’s youth that are best placed to take a city’s cultural pulse. Increasingly Birmingham’s is flatlining. Just think how different it could be if institutions and organisations like The Rainbow were given support, and how much change they could effect in other people’s perception of the City.
THE FACTS ARE THESE
Noise nuisnace is a totally subjective matter – it is not measured – it is all about a council officers ‘trained human ear’. There have been instances where even the EPU’s own officers have failed to detect a nuisance following a complaint against The Rainbow – but different day and different officer – different result.. There are residents on the same facade and elevation facing the Rainbow that maintain there is absolutely no nuisance at all and that far from having a problem with the Rainbow – the reason they moved in was to be close to such ammenities (this is similarly the overwhelming view of Digbeth’s Residents Association). The Rainbow’s own research from the Abacus rooftops indicates that yes a bass beat can be heard when there is a lull in background traffic noise – but would struggle to see how this was a noise nuisnace behind closed windows and doors and should certainly cause no problem when trying to sleep within a bedroom. Nevertheless accepting the views of the Council and having had a number of ‘noise nuisances’ subjectively witnessed againt them from one resident’s flat, the Rainbow has agreed to erect a roof on it’s courtyard area to prevent sound leakage. This in itself is a highly sensitive subject as the Rainbow is being made to pay the price of the council’s own negligence over the construction of the Abacus flats (which failed to comply with thier own rules on noise surveys). The Rainbow agreed to do this as soon as plans could be steered through the planning department – so completion would be around August. Meantime The Rainbow has regularly asked to negotiate/discuss with EPU/complainant it’s events over the ensuing 3 months, to try and ensure that everyone keeps a cool head, as we cannot afford to close for the period, and any suggestion of us playing music at an ambient level is just naive. This has included giving them details of what times events will start and finish, planning noisier events around times when they may not be in reidence (on holiday), offering to put them up at our expense in a hotel for the night if needed – even very simply getting them to phone us if the levels creep too high. REMEMBER this is just over a 3 month period until a roof prevents any further issues. Unfortunately EPU and the tenant refused to countenance such an initiative and have decided to simply stick to – ‘if you make what we consider to be a nuisnace meantime, we will act’ – this was even when informed we would need to hold some fundraising events meantime to ensure we could provide for the very solution to their problems.
Anyhow following another subjectively witmessed noise nuisance commieted before 11.30pm on Monday (hardly the middle of the night) we now are now awaiting a decision on an abatement order. Knowing what a ridiculous injustice this is and what the wider implications are for the area – we will fight it should we get it – to the bitter end if necessary – to the point we are physically ejected and the pub is boarded up. But we would like your help – sign up to the facebook group so we can present it to the council.
The Rainbow Team