JD Wetherspoon plc is planning to erect a 43 ft high sound barrier to prevent neighbours near its Keaven's Port hotel and pub/restaurant in Dublin being impacted by excessive noise levels from the pub’s outdoor courtyard area.
In April of last year, the English-headquartered pub operator temporarily ceased trading at the courtyard/beer garden at its 89 bedroom Camden Street hotel arising from local residents' complaints over noise levels from its operation.
The pub firm - which currently operates eight premises in the Republic - had earlier received a planning enforcement warning letter from Dublin City Council in December 2021 concerning noise levels from the courtyard.
Now, a submission connected to the new acoustic barrier planning application lodged with the City Council states that the courtyard would remain shut until a solution could be identified to resolve the noise control issue.
The submission states that the closure of the courtyard demonstrates JD Wetherspoon’s commitment to being a good neighbour and working with residents to resolve issues whenever they may arise.
The submission by planning consultants Brock McClure adds: "However, in doing so, JD Wetherspoon have since experienced significant financial impact, as a consequence of closing their courtyard."
“In addition to reducing staff numbers, our client has also had to significantly reduce customer occupancy, leading to a loss in business and sales."
In a bid to overcome the issue, the hospitality firm employed acoustic experts, Enfonic which has recommended the erection of the 13.2 metre (43.3ft) high and 8.1m (26.5ft) wide sound barrier that will be completed with rockpanel wood panelling.
As part of the process, Enfonic erected a temporary noise barrier at the courtyard boundary and produced noise to replicate patrons in the courtyard which has a permitted capacity for 244.
Brock McClure state that the Enfonic assessment found that “the height of a suitable barrier is critical to its performance and a variety of configurations were considered. It was concluded that a barrier with a height of between 13 metres and 14 metres would provide the required performance”.
In their 26-page planning report, Brock McClure state that “the barrier has been developed to protect all persons who will live, work or engage in other activities in the immediate vicinity of the courtyard from noise disturbance from the outside seating area”.
The report states that particular emphasis has been paid to nearby residential properties surrounding the premises.
Brock McClure state that a post construction monitoring programme will be critical to the success of the proposed solution. The report states that “the applicant is fully committed to a monitoring programme that manages occupancy of the courtyard space within the acceptable noise parameters”.
The consultants state that the design and scale of the barrier is appropriate for the site and is entirely reversible and can be removed in the future as necessary.
A decision is due on the application in July.