An application for an outdoor terrace at a luxury hotel in Aberdeen’s west end has been turned down by the city’s licensing board following complaints from neighbours.
Residents living close to the Chester Hotel voiced concern about the potential for increased noise – with one citing the right to a peaceful night’s sleep under EU law.
Hotel bosses applied for a variation of the premises licence to cover the outdoor dining area to the rear of the Queens Road complex.
Environmental health and licensing standards officers said they had no objection to the plans, providing there was no amplified music and the balcony area was closed by 10pm.
Members of the city’s licensing board rejected the application at a meeting yesterday (tues) however.
The Chester Hotel now has 21 days to appeal the decision at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
The board also agreed to a legal request that the hotel does not have to wait for a year – as would be normal practice – before re-applying.
A spokeswoman for the hotel did not respond to a request for comment last night.
One of several residents who wrote to the board said there had already been “recorded incidents” of noise “late into the night”.
A redacted letter published as part of the board papers referenced an EU directive for a peaceful night’s sleep and “night noise” guidance issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO information suggested noise in excess of 40 decibels could pose a “threat” to health.
However, a noise assessment carried out on behalf of the Chester Hotel by RMP, a consulting division of Napier University in Edinburgh, said that there would be no amplified music.
The survey found that the noise level would not exceed the existing “ambient” noise, as the dining area would be partially screened by a glass balustrade along the balcony terrace.
Ross Thomson, a ward councillor for Hazlehead, Ashley and Queen’s Cross, made a representation to the board on behalf of some of the concerned residents.
He said: “Everyone accepts the hotel is good for the city, but what I did stress was the balance that needs to be struck to make sure that the residents who live there have a quality of life – this is not a city centre location, the area to the rear of the hotel is residential.”