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Boileroom closure threat lifted

Award-winning small venue allowed to stay open - after complaint from just 2 people put licence at risk

Award-winning Guildford venue The Boileroom has been saved from closure.

Its licence was put under threat after just two people objected to noise from the family-run business. Current environmental laws in England and Wales mean a single complaint can result in closure.

But Guildford Borough Council decided at a hearing yesterday that no evidence existed to support claims that the Boileroom was generating unacceptable sound levels.

They’ve been given permission to continue operating, although their beer garden is to close 30 minutes earlier than previously, and they’ve been urged to find ways to lower noise.

Owner Dominique Frazer, who's won a Noise Abatement Society award for the way the venue operates, said in June: "Our fairly new neighbours who rent the house adjacent have put in an application to review our licence, with the direct intention and request that the council revoke it with immediate effect. The message is very clear: they want to shut us down."

An online petition received more than 18,000 signatures and former The Jam leader Paul Weller voiced his support, saying: “Without these types of locations for hosting live music, new artists and bands struggle to share, extend and establish their talents to a wider audience. I ask your consideration in allowing this premises to continue as an ambassador to promote live music.

Councillor Caroline Reeve said the authority had not been considering closure as an option.

A number of small venues across the UK have been lost in recent years. Earlier this month the Cockpit in Leeds shut down while the Snooty Fox in Wakefield launched an online plea for survival. The Fleece in Bristol narrowly avoided closure in August, soon after Bristol’s Tiger was put out of business following a single complaint.

Last year Manchester’s Night And Day found itself under threat while the 200 Club in Newport ceased trading. The Birmingham venue where Black Sabbath forged their careers was sold to developers during the summer.

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