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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #101
Biosonic
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That's why Digbeth needs to be cultivated and nurtured, and the authorities really need to keep a tight leash on developers ensuring they don't do substandard work.

A balance has to be struck - it is wrong to have OTT music blaring out at all hours, and it is wrong to have drunk punters throwing up on doorsteps BUT it is also wrong to stifle the live music scene and allow new residents to elbow long-standing businesses out of the way.

I am sure developers have been watching the Abacus debate closely and will be taking note of noise insulation.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 10:30 PM   #102
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The anti-change brigade as per usual is it?

The redevelopment of Digbeth is bound to step on someones toes somewhere, something someone considers important will be lost somewhere so the whole thing is a bad idea no doubt.

Bio's point about the Masterplan is obviously important, but loads of Digbeth are already subject to a conservation area (Custard factory side of the road). Rest is mostly a mix of some very poor quality factory units with some better quality building of historical value.
Plenty of scope for the demolition of the former and reuse of the later. As a whole the 'comprehensive' redevelopment of Digbeth with give it far more vitality.

i pretty much can't agree with the negative tone of Abacus' post even though there are difficult issues over the Spotted dog and a few other venues that need to be sorted out. I think Connaught Sq with the redevelopment of the Irish Center and the retention of the pub on Bradford st (can't remember it's name) show how Digbeth will become far more vibrant not less with redevelopment
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Old March 20th, 2008, 12:48 AM   #103
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The anti-change brigade as per usual is it?

The redevelopment of Digbeth is bound to step on someones toes somewhere, something someone considers important will be lost somewhere so the whole thing is a bad idea no doubt.

Bio's point about the Masterplan is obviously important, but loads of Digbeth are already subject to a conservation area (Custard factory side of the road). Rest is mostly a mix of some very poor quality factory units with some better quality building of historical value.
Plenty of scope for the demolition of the former and reuse of the later. As a whole the 'comprehensive' redevelopment of Digbeth with give it far more vitality.

i pretty much can't agree with the negative tone of Abacus' post even though there are difficult issues over the Spotted dog and a few other venues that need to be sorted out. I think Connaught Sq with the redevelopment of the Irish Center and the retention of the pub on Bradford st (can't remember it's name) show how Digbeth will become far more vibrant not less with redevelopment
I am very much for change and development. However I think developers and planners are missing a real opportunity here. Digbeth provides and should be given the opportunity to continue providing an alternative to what is currently on offer elsewhere in the city. It's not good enough to knock down huge blocks, replace them en masse and fill them with outlets and social venues that can be found in any other city.

Surely planners have a responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the social fabric that exists and not try to reinvent it. I do have a negative tone and that's because the residents of Digbeth, who have a long term interest in the area, are fed up of not being listened to. Digbeth will end up like Sheepcote St with its depressing endless blocks of flats that sit like islands, look in on themselves and lack any kind of social cohesion. Just because it's the city centre does not mean we can't have a sense of community. Development can be sensitive and shouldn't be about wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #104
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A community and arts centre would be a good start.

Sound-proofed, of course
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Old March 20th, 2008, 10:31 PM   #105
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a new modern art gellery would be great, with a community arts centre attached
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Old March 21st, 2008, 02:13 PM   #106
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I agree to both of the above. If Birmingham really wants to compete nationally and internationally, at a cultural and arts level, it needs to start attracting and retaining creative people. In order to do that you need an exciting and innovative environment. Digbeth, for me, is the obvious place.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:39 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abacus View Post
I am very much for change and development. However I think developers and planners are missing a real opportunity here. Digbeth provides and should be given the opportunity to continue providing an alternative to what is currently on offer elsewhere in the city. It's not good enough to knock down huge blocks, replace them en masse and fill them with outlets and social venues that can be found in any other city.

Surely planners have a responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the social fabric that exists and not try to reinvent it. I do have a negative tone and that's because the residents of Digbeth, who have a long term interest in the area, are fed up of not being listened to. Digbeth will end up like Sheepcote St with its depressing endless blocks of flats that sit like islands, look in on themselves and lack any kind of social cohesion. Just because it's the city centre does not mean we can't have a sense of community. Development can be sensitive and shouldn't be about wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch.
I don't agree with the pessimism. The forthcoming Birmingham Masterplan, and all the main protagonists including the developers recognize that Digbeth is different - that is the whole point and developments are unlikely to be successful that don't recognize it as they are unlikely to get planning permission

The main two developments i know anything about are Warwick Barr and Connaught Sq both of which are the opposite of gated islands. Planning policy has tightened up extraordinarily since the the likes of Liberty Place were built on Sheepcote st.

I agree completely with your point that planners have an obligation to enhance the social fabric... have a read of PPS 1 - planning for sustainable development. Social factors are given equal weight to economic and environmental sustainability aims. This is a relatively new change and i can see why some development up until quite recent would be cause of concern of it was intended for Digbeth. As far as i can see this is not happening however,
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Old March 26th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #108
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It's all kicking off...

http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/digbeth-...r-2603081.html

Quote:
Fears that the Noise Abatement Order served on Digbeth’s Spotted Dog pub would set the tone for the entire district are being realised. Residents of the Abacus Apartments – whose complaints triggered the row in the first place – are now being urged to kick up a fuss about two other late night entertainment venues.

Letters have been placed in the public areas of the Abacus block, urging flat-dwellers to write to Environmental Health officers about the sounds coming out of the Custard Factory and The Rainbow over Easter...
It needs to come to a head IMO and this will set the precedent for the area.

Tbh though, the Factory is extremely loud - I have been there on a night out and I am surprised the police station up the road hasn't complained about the noise levels emanating from the Custard Factory.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #109
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But they're two of the best venues in the city! And they were there first!
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #110
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Surely this evidence of a campaign can be used against the complainers? If it was a real problem, why would anyone need convincing to complain?

Someone tear the letters down and set up a hidden camera to see who replaces them - then let us know their address...I kid of course...or do I?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #111
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Quote:
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But they're two of the best venues in the city! And they were there first!
That doesn't really matter - if the noise levels break the law (regardless of whether there are residential neighbours) then they can, and possibly should, be clamped down on. After all - it can work both ways - Digbeth is not the middle of a Heartlands Industrial Estate - it is the city centre and noise can affect all sorts of neighbours.

The Med Bar used to be enclosed and a lot quieter, whereas since they have expanded into the courtyard, and with the smoking ban, it is a lot noisier there.

As usual it is a case of reaching a compromise if there is a problem. I am sure somewhere as important as the Custard Factory will have a friendly ear of the council with regard to making improvements (if necessary, of course).

It's all a repeat of the arguments 10-15 years ago when people moved into loft apartments in industrialised areas then complained about factory noise.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #112
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If noise restrictions are imposed it'll also be bad news for Barfly, Sanctuary and Air.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic View Post
That doesn't really matter - if the noise levels break the law (regardless of whether there are residential neighbours) then they can, and possibly should, be clamped down on.
Just wondering what law(s) you are referring to here? I'm aware of laws concerning noise levels within venues (for the sake of peoples hearing), but are there actual laws pertaining to noise leaking out onto the street?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:31 PM   #114
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But they're two of the best venues in the city! And they were there first!
Of course you are right. The last thing we need is to have the proper development of Digbeth as a bohemian place for art and music and culture and lively city living because of a few nimby stiffs in unsoundproofed flats.

As for reaching a compromise - remember the Fiddle and Bone RIP? These people really get on my nerves.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJF View Post
Just wondering what law(s) you are referring to here? I'm aware of laws concerning noise levels within venues (for the sake of peoples hearing), but are there actual laws pertaining to noise leaking out onto the street?
Yes.

Disturbance caused by patrons whether on premises (ie in the smoking area) or while entering and leaving a licensed premises is covered in the terms of the license and can be a valid reasons for a license to be revoked or opening hours to be curtailed. This is in fact often a significant issue in residential areas.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShavenHeaden View Post
Surely this evidence of a campaign can be used against the complainers? If it was a real problem, why would anyone need convincing to complain?

Someone tear the letters down and set up a hidden camera to see who replaces them - then let us know their address...I kid of course...or do I?
I too am mightily annoyed by this, especially by this campaign to wreck some of the last decent places in town. Trying to drum up support to neuter major, longstanding city venues they they've just f*****g moved in next to. Do these people have names or is their campaign to destroy the last vestiges of musical goodness in brum and whatever is left of my social life conducted in secret?

-

Last edited by mk61; March 27th, 2008 at 02:25 AM. Reason: Okay, puppy-raping, baby-murdering assholes was a bit too much
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Old March 27th, 2008, 02:15 AM   #117
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If this trend of apartment buildings going up near established entertainment spots, having the residents complain, resulting in the closure of these venues; then what's to stop all of Birminghams' clubs closing? As ridiculous as this might sound can somebody point out to me any legislation that protects established venues from being displaced and put out of business by the takeover of trendy inner city dwellers who want some peace and quiet? This is the city CENTRE after all, not the suburbs. It's going to be noisy!

Can you imagine what these people would be like if they were to visit new York York City?? I know they'd end up having to close down all the hotels!
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Old March 27th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #118
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I think the only recent precedent is Crosby's attempt to restrict the Nightingale in the gay village where the onus on soundproofing was put on developers after their appeal.

we can't be the only city with this issue. Anyone know what has happened elsewhere? and any resolutions?
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Old March 27th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #119
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As I have previously said there are a few residents who would love to see the end of the Rainbow and in particular an end to weekend events at the Custard Factory. These complaints started about a year ago and someone is clearly now upping the anti. Since the majority of flats are let this is going to be a continual battle for these places and with calenders full of weekend events it will most certainly be a testing time. I have no idea why these people moved to Digbeth. They clearly didn't do their homework and don't care about wrecking Digbeth and the livelihood of others. It disgusts me that the vast majority of people who live in Abacus and support these places and moved here because of them don't have a voice. Furthermore you can't engage in a discussion because no one knows who they are.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #120
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Can you put up a poster in Abacus asking residents to subscribe to support the music venues? The Spotted Dog has a blog/website doesn't it - people can register their support and maybe lobby the council to protect the venues.

It irritates me intensely when people moan about the character of somewhere they have moved to, you get it all the time. Suburbanites moving to the country and complaining about farm smells, animal noises etc. City centre dwellers complaining about people out late and noise from bars and clubs. People living on main roads or next to railways stations and complaining of engine noise etc.

That's not to mean their concerns are not valid to a degree - as I said before, if a nightclub is blasting music outdoors for no good reason (like a specially-licenced one-off event) then it is unacceptable. If a pub halfway down the road has a band on though, then it is a different matter.

I would like to know what the flat-flat sound transmission is like in Abacus. Just out of interest.

The council really need to set down a line in the sand (which they started drawing with Crosby/Nightingale) - if a licenced establishment is allowing excessive noise (external speakers, late & loud), is responsible for drink-related violence/excessive drinking etc then they should be dealth with, but we cannot allow a few people to silence the entire city centre.
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