Manchester Evening News

Council accused of ‘declaring war on nighttime economy’



MANCHESTER council has been accused of ‘declaring war on its nighttime economy’ by ‘threatenin­g to persecute Night and Day to the supreme court.’

The accusation was levelled by barrister Sarah Clover, making her closing arguments after a three-day court case where the Northern Quarter venue is appealing a noise abatement notice served in late 2021.

The row stems from complaints made by a neighbouri­ng flat after song lyrics could be heard next door during early hours club nights. Ms Clover, representi­ng the venue which opened in 1991, argued the notice should be ‘quashed’ as it is ‘unjustifie­d.’

She was responding to comments from Leo Charalambi­des, the barrister representi­ng the council. Mr Charalambi­des said the bar was ‘attempting to invite the court to go against centuries of legal tradition and two supreme court judgements.’

“If you were to join this shangri-la, we would be taking this case further,” Mr Charalambi­des said. In his closing submission­s, he also offered to amend the noise abatement notice and argued ‘the fact that [Night and Day owner] Jennifer Smithson said ‘we were here first and we are going to do what we have always done’ made no difference to the case.

That led Ms Clover to condemn her opposite number’s comments. She told District Judge Margaret McCormack: “The threat of the council through their advocate to persecute Night and Day all the way up to the supreme court is noted. What we have just heard is a declaratio­n of war by this council, not just on Night and Day but on the whole of their night time economy at such a desperate time for this industry. That’s a tragedy.”

Ms Clover said Mr Charalambi­des’ comment that Ms Smithson was ‘stamping her feet’ was ‘monstrousl­y unfair.’ She argued the notice was unjustifie­d because ‘the court must find there is a nuisance now or there is a likely nuisance’ to come for it to be valid.

The flat has been vacant since May 2022, and is listed for sale, Ms Clover added. This, combined with the fact that no previous resident had complained since the flat was built in 2000, shows there was no current nuisance and nor was there likely to be one soon, she said.

At the close of proceeding­s, District Judge McCormack indicated that she would reconvene the session to announce her decision, which will be in at least two weeks.

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 ?? ?? Night and Day owner Jennifer Smithson
Night and Day owner Jennifer Smithson

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