Radio Sandwell Local News

Tower Ballroom loses licence after noise and parking complaints

2016-02-24 23:21:25

Tower BallroomQueues outside the Tower Ballroom in December 2005 for the last dance before it closed

Birmingham's iconic Tower Ballroom has lost its licence after complaints from locals about noise and parking.

City council licensing chiefs ruled that it could not “co-exist” with local residents because of “intrusive noise”.

The venue, which is located on the edge of Edgbaston Reservoir, had its licence revoked along with the nearby Mount Pleasant Working Mens Club during a hearing last week.

The licences for both venues were held by the same person, Baljinder Sangha, and both were revoked “in order to promote the prevention of public nuisance.”

Tower BallroomThe Tower Ballroom on July 8, 1979, as fans rally to the support of their favourite group Harvest. Pictured from left are Gordon Whitehouse, Martin Condon, Rob McMillen and Ken Lowe

In explaining the reasons for the revocation, chair of licensing sub-committee B, Councillor Lynda Clinton, said: “In the sub-committee’s opinion the current operation of the premises made it unsuitable to co-exist with the local residents.

“Prior to the new owners applying for extended hours, residents had no complaints with the large premises or its management.

“However, since it was taken over by the new owners in the past two-and-a-half years many people who drove to the premises for late night events, were inconsiderate in their parking and when leaving the premises after closing time.

“The totality of these issues caused disturbances and or distress which precluded local residents working and living in the vicinity of the premises from enjoying quiet evenings and having undisturbed sleep at night.”

Tower Ballroom

The Tower Ballroom was originally created as an ice skating rink but has been used as a dance hall since the 1920s.

It has had a turbulent recent history and was even earmarked for demolition at one point.

Developers had intended to build 90 homes on the site in 2006 but hostility from local residents forced the firm to scrap the plans and keep the venue standing in its original form as a dance hall venue.

The building had been empty from 2005, but was reopened with huge fanfare in 2008.

It changed hands to Baljinder Sangha in 2010 who said at the time there were plans for a £1 million face-lift to tap into the lucrative Asian wedding market.

In its decision to also revoke the licence of the nearby Mount Pleasant Working Mens Club, the committee said the “level and frequency of public nuisance was unacceptable.”

Tower BallroomThe last dance at the Tower Ballroom in Edgbaston before it closed in December 2005

In a written decision Coun Clinton described mobile phone footage from one resident as compelling.

She added: “The sub-committee heard from local residents how the nature of the business changed when the premises came under new ownership approximately four years ago.

“The private functions which were held there was a newer problem in addition to the existing ones identified as being associated with the Tower Ballroom. Evidence of public nuisance from one particular local resident was compelling.

“The sub-committee weighed a variety of competing considerations: the demand for the licensed establishment, the economic benefit to the proprietor, the effect on law and order, the impact of those who live and work in the vicinity.

“It determined that it would be reasonable to expect, in a residential area, a degree of peace and quiet and this they judged could only be achieved by revoking the premises licence.”

The licence holder has a right to appeal the decisions within 21 days at Magistrates’ Court.

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