Premier Inn may walk away from opening a 60-bedroom hotel in Newport city centre because of a dispute over noise between the developer and the owner of the nightclub.
Richard Hayward Properties, which is based at Castleton, owns and is redeveloping the former Yates’ wine bar on the corner of Cambrian Road and Queensway into a new hotel.
The hotel was granted planning permission in 2012 – but five years down the line, the grade II-listed building has still not been handed over to the chain and Mr Hayward now fears Premier Inn, which promises its customers a great night’s sleep, will walk away from the city this spring.
The redevelopment, which has included triple-glazing the windows, has cost millions and the developers also received a £450,000 Vibrant and Viable Places grant Welsh Government towards it.
Mr Hayward said the hold up is down to noise levels coming from Warehouse 54, a nightclub owned by Newport entrepreneur Iftekhar Haris, which is directly next door.
And he claims that despite trying to come to an agreement with Mr Haris over the noise from Warehouse 54 and two other venues owned by him in Cambrian Road, the dispute is still ongoing.
Mr Haris said: “I am all for a new hotel in the city centre and I was willing to hand over my premises for them to do essential soundproofing, which involved an agreement of acceptable sound levels set out between specialists on both sides.
“Unfortunately, Premier Inn did not accept these proposed levels, probably as a result of their promise of ‘a great night’s sleep’, which raises the question as to why the hotel was built close to the train station and on a street renowned for the busiest bars and nightlife in the city centre.”
Mr Hayward said: “Our acoustics specialists Clarke Saunders have undertaken a series of tests which have found that the noise levels coming from Warehouse 54, Blind Tiger and the Karma Lounge is too high and we are therefore suffering noise into some of the newly-built hotel.
“Premier Inn would very much like to move into the building and are waiting for us to resolve the noise issues. But if we can’t, I think they will have walked away from the project by May.”
Mr Hayward said the next step was to undertake structural alterations to take out some of the steelwork in the building to try to prevent the rumble of noise coming in.
He said: “There is a substantial cost in doing this but we will bear it to get a resolution to this matter.”
He said if these measures failed he has been advised by his solicitors that his firm is entitled to take out an injunction to get the noise levels reduced but he said: “We cannot close them down.”
Mr Haris, who has been running nightclubs in the city centre for at least 20 years and who employs 100 people, said: “I had no objections to the planning application after guarantees from the developers that sufficient soundproofing was considered and would not threaten Warehouse54 or the adjoining businesses in situ.”
Mr Haris said his building had been a music venue for more than 30 years and claimed he was being used as a scapegoat for what he said were ‘fundamental flaws’ made by the developers.
He claimed: “The developers knew of the structural issues from day one and it was evident from the outset that the buildings needed to be separated to prevent structural-borne noise.”