Shut that door! Heat is on Milton Keynes social club to prevent noise nuisance

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A council committee has failed to find a compromise between a Newport Pagnell social club and its next door neighbours over when it can open the back door.

The new operators of Ousebank House, the former Royal British Legion in Ousebank Street, have been given a licence to open it to the public.

But the sticking point is over a condition to keep the back door shut.

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Neighbours Jo and Matthew Marsh want the club to keep the door closed until the temperature inside reaches 30 degrees Celsius.

But the applicants, Susan Greenwood and James Campbell think that will “tropical” and pose a health hazard for staff.

They wanted the threshold set at 25 degrees Celsius, but the neighbours say that means the door will be open too much, forcing them to swelter inside their home.

A meeting of Milton Keynes Council’s licensing sub committee was called on Thursday to try to reach a compromise.

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Council expert Adam Ward said the issue has “probably been the most difficult issue I’ve had as a licensing officer.”

Cllr Mick Legg, who chaired the meetingCllr Mick Legg, who chaired the meeting
Cllr Mick Legg, who chaired the meeting

The sub-committee of three councillors heard that there is is no maximum temperature for an indoor workplace, only references to 25 degrees and above being “uncomfortable”.

Trades unions, the committee heard, are calling for 30 degrees as a maximum workplace temperature. But they say that workplaces regularly hitting 27 degrees would be “endangering health.”

Mr Campbell said: “I think 30 degrees is quite a nice temperature if you are in the tropics. I don’t think it’s a fair temperature to ask any member of staff to work under for any length of time.

“I think it will have people passing out.”

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But Mrs Marsh said: “Twenty five degrees is just too low. It’s 25 degrees in our kitchen this evening, and it’s just not uncomfortable.

“It would result in that door being open for a majority of the year which obviously results in noise and potential use.

“That nuisance just impacts on us and means we have to close our windows, resulting in us not able to have ventilation into our home and increasing the temperature for us.”

She wanted the club to install fans and air con before using the fire exit for ventilation.

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Mr Ward said the the committee faced making a difficult decision which would not satisfy everyone.

After considering the issues for half an hour in private, chairman Cllr Mick Legg (Lab, Bletchley West) said a condition involving 25 degrees as a threshold would be imposed but reviewed after six months.

He concluded by asking everyone to work together to solve the issue.

“I would implore Mr and Mrs Marsh and the applicants to work together to have a better working relationship,” he said.

He suggested that the club should have a look at removing some sound insulation to help.

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