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Fears for Thekla future as Bristol greenlights new development

One of Britain’s most unique music venues, DHP Family’s Thekla in Bristol, is facing an uncertain future following Bristol City Council’s decision to approve a new housing development adjacent to the 400-cap. venue.

DHP fears Thekla – a former cargo ship moored in Bristol’s Mud Dock – could be forced to close due to potential noise complaints from the new flats at Redcliffe Wharf if the developer fails to put in sufficient soundproofing to protect its residents.

At the planning meeting on Wednesday night, developer Complex Development Projects gave assurances it would carry out a a new and more comprehensive noise assessment prior to the development’s completion. DHP says, however, that despite it calling for the planning decision to be deferred until this had taken place, councillors gave Complex the green light.

“We appeal to the developer to keep to their promise to work with us on a new noise survey and improved sound insulation scheme to protect Thekla and the future residents from noise problems,” comments DHP Family’s head of compliance, Julie Tippins. “We expect the council to follow up on the assurances they gave to councillors to only give the go-ahead once they were satisfied the Thekla would be protected from future noise complaints from residents of the development.

“This is not the end of the fight to protect Thekla … we have to ensure all parties keep to the commitments they have given”

“This is certainly not the end of the fight to protect the Thekla, as we have to ensure that all parties keep to the commitments they have given. We urge our supporters to contact their local councillors and MPs to ensure the council does all it can to protect the future of the Thekla.”

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, adds: “Sensible and adequately planned residential developments near to grassroots music venues like the Thekla mean that residents and music lovers can happily co-exist. That outcome starts at the planning application stage when a good developer recognises the cultural value of the existing music venue and takes steps to protect it.

“Recognising the existence of an iconic music venue like Thekla starts with a thorough environmental impact study that specifically understands the noise in the area. Properly understanding noise and activity results in great design for any refurbishment or new building, ensuring noise is managed and controlled.”

DHP is calling on supporters to back its #savethekla campaign to make sure the commitment to carry out a more comprehensive noise survey is honoured.


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