The Bike Yard beer garden’s summer 2022 comeback could be jeopardised by angry neighbours making “abjectly false” complaints about noise.
The Aberdeen street food market operated as a pop-up venue on Hutcheon Street between June and September last year.
North-east club promoters Rory Masson and Scott Forest came up with the idea during lockdown.
After hailing last year’s stint as a “great success”, they are keen to revive it this year – starting with a bank holiday bash next weekend.
They have applied to Aberdeen City Council for a licence permitting the use of the former Ecosse Motorcycles yard and showroom between April 29 and May 12.
Why are neighbours trying to block The Bike Yard’s 2022 comeback?
A pair of anonymous complaints could banjax the comeback plan, however.
One letter sent to the local authority claims the residential area between Mounthooly and George Street is not a suitable place for the venture.
They said that, last year, “very loud music” was played outside “until very late in the evening”.
The letter adds: “The outdoor space and indoor space they operate in is approximately 15 metres away from my property, which is far too close to be having loud music.
“They often have DJ sets which cause lots of shouting.
“Also, operating the indoor space until 12am in a residential area on weeknights, let alone weekends, is outrageous as loud drunks shout and scream as they leave the venue.”
Claim that police were called to the Bike Yard
The second complaint said the noise pollution last summer was “unbearable”.
They also claimed the music occasionally went on as late as 2am “despite police being called”.
However, the police have raised no qualms with the Bike Yard coming back.
The force’s licensing administrator, Sheila Pirie, has given it her blessing as long as certain standard rules are followed.
‘We have had nothing but support from the community’
The Bike Yard has issued a robust response to the complaints in a letter sent to the council.
Those behind the enterprise insist they have had “nothing but support” from locals.
They add that they “do not understand” these particular gripes “given the precautions taken to mitigate such issues”.
‘Only interaction with locals was when they popped in for a pint’
The letter states: “Neither myself or the staff have ever had a negative interaction with anyone about the yard operating where it is.
“We have only applied to be able to use the outdoor area for drinking and background music until 10pm, which is the same as how we operated for three months last
summer without a single complaint.
“The only interaction we have had with the neighbours directly next to the yard is their regular attendance throughout the summer at our bar.”
Complaints ‘completely ridiculous’
The Bike Yard bosses branded claims about loud music being played beyond 10pm “abjectly false”.
The letter adds: “The assertion that we would be playing music until 2am, a full four hours after our licence finished is completely ridiculous.”
In response to the allegation about noisy patrons leaving the venue, the letter explains that “large posters” were put up asking people to be quiet and security staff at the entrance also enforced this message.
Decision to be made days before The Bike Yard’s planned 2022 return
The Bike Yard’s response continues: “Our clientele last year were a mix between young professionals 21-35 years old and older nearby residents.
“There was not a single incident of violence or forced ejection from the site for intoxication.”
The operators insist “noise testers” regularly checked the decibel level to ensure the music was never too loud.
The Bike Yard is already advertising the May Day event, though its fate lies in the hands of councillors when they meet on Tuesday, April 26.
And The Bike Yard has already employed 15 bar staff, an event manager and social media marketing guru in preparation for coming back this summer.
The letter concludes: “We believe that The Bike Yard is an important project for Aberdeen in a time where the city should be pushing entrepreneurship and especially businesses like ours, which promote the growth of culture – specifically music and art.
“It is our hope that we will be allowed to continue with this after such a successful operation last summer during a very hard time to operate a business.”