A Scunthorpe community centre has apologised after noise nuisance complaints were made against it.
CrosbyOne in Digby Street, Scunthorpe, had its licence up for review on Thursday, November 16, for the prevention of public nuisance. A council environmental officer twice witnessed high noise levels coming from the centre when it hosted events.
The chair of Crosby Together, which runs the centre, made clear their regret that the incidents occurred. Councillors also heard from North Lincolnshire Council officials that the centre had positively engaged on preventing such noise nuisance happening again.
Martin Whitehouse, Crosby Together’s chair, said: “We’re sorry that the nuisance happened, we regret that. The conversations both with licensing and environmental have been positive and it’s useful they can see what we’re trying to do, overall.”
The noise complaints date back first to Summer 2022, and more recently to July and August this year. A complainant on August 20 reported loud music for two hours and went to the centre to see who was in charge. They reported that “that no one was in charge and the children inside were just running amuck”.
In response to complaints, a member of the council’s out of hours noise service attended on July 8 and August 26, 2023. On both occasions, recorded music was being played. Windows were open, in breach of an existing licensing condition.
On July 8, music was audible at 9pm, 90 metres away in Buckingham Street in the officer’s car, with their windows closed. Music stopped at 9.05pm. “The music was bass heavy and was intrusive inside the complainants property,” said the officer of the August 26 attendance, from 9.30pm. “The noise would also prevent the average person from sleeping.” It was still ongoing at 10.30pm.
There is no danger of the building’s licence being revoked. The council’s environmental protection team leader Annie Ward asked for variation of licensing conditions and several added on.
These included boundary checks carried out by a responsible person at regular intervals during events, and the individual responsible in the licence holder’s absence to be independent from the event being held.
Mr Whitehouse indicated the centre’s ready willingness to agree to the suggested new conditions. Ms Ward stated the centre “very positively and actively engaged” with the council’s environmental team. Lack of management on site was the acknowledged reason for the two individual events the council officer found caused a statutory nuisance.
“We very much don’t want to upset our community,” Mr Whitehouse said, adding the centre had operated under the licence for 26 years. CrosbyOne was in what was the most deprived area “in virtually every measure across North Lincolnshire”. “We exist to serve the community and we do most of this without any direct financial input from anywhere.”
The hosting of parties served the community as a venue that could be used, and earned the centre cash. The centre is largely run by volunteers and requiring someone independent of events on the premises “does create a problem”. But he said it would train and pay an individual to do this.
Council licensing officers also attended and, in support of the centre, asked for a number of existing general conditions to be removed. These included a requirement for a first aid box, and historic public safety requirements.
“I’m pleased that you see the conditions as reasonable and equally important, achievable,” said Cllr Tim Mitchell on the licensing sub-committee, to Mr Whitehouse. The meeting adjourned to allow councillors to decide in private what condition changes to make.