A food stall was prevented from remaining open until 5 a.m. over fears it could become a ‘destination’ for late-night revelers leaving downtown clubs. Greek Grill House in Great Northern Square was refused a late night license after police and council officers objected to the application. Manchester Council said there were a ‘significant number’ of noise complaints about groups of people congregating around the Peter Street area after 2am.
According to the local authorities, buskers started performing in the city center to earn money from these people, and one of them was the subject of legal proceedings. Turkish restaurant Hatty’s in Deansgate has been the subject of several complaints over double parking, car horns, shouting and shouting – but licensing manager Niall Johnson said other premises were also responsible.
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He said: “From 2am to 4am, the main focus of Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police is the safe, quick and quiet exit of people at home from the city centre. After 2 o’clock we get a significant number of complaints from the police They are not specific to a certain local – they are specific to that particular area of Peter Street Sometimes they complain about bars or clubs but when we let’s go down there, it’s the noise of several different rooms, of groups of people gathering.
“We recently had to take legal action against buskers who started coming to Great Northern Square specifically for these groups of people to make money, so we need to ban them from entering the area.”
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The licensing manager argued that allowing the Greek Grill House to operate past 2 a.m. would worsen public nuisance issues in the area. Although there is no ban on street play after a certain time, noise reduction advisories may be issued if the noise is causing a nuisance.
If the busker doesn’t comply, the case could end up in a magistrate’s court. The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that a noise reduction advisory was issued to a busker in the area on February 26. Speaking on behalf of Greek Grill House at a leave hearing, Ann Ndlovu said the food stall was willing to reduce its requested opening hours to 4am. But GMP representative, PC Alan Isherwood argued the panel should still reject the late night license application saying it would not be fair to residents.
He said: “What it will encourage, even if it’s been 4am, there will be people hanging around longer than they would be now because there’s a focal point. People might just leaving the clubs a few minutes early to get something to eat and then they just stay there eating the food, chatting, laughing, doing what people do in the evenings because there’s more than one point focus there.
“The other takeaways that are in this area that are open until 4 a.m. are actually physical buildings where staff and customers are inside, so the noise that result is not as noticeable as when people are indoors.” The Licensing Committee rejected the application at a hearing on Monday April 4.