Residents lose battle to stop restaurant extending outdoor eating hours
A group of residents living behind one of Cardiff’s busiest streets has lost its battle to stop a restaurant from extending its outdoor operating hours.
Cardiff Council this week approved a licensing application made by Silures, on Wellfield Road, to extend the operating hours of its outdoor terrace area from 8pm to 9pm.
Speaking at the council’s licensing meeting on Monday June 12, one resident said that a number of people on Bangor Street have concerns about the potential impact it will have on their quality of life.
Bangor Street resident, Frances Dredge, said people on the street are impacted by noise from neighbouring establishments and that the 8pm cut off point for outdoor serving, adhered to by many of the bars and restaurants, is just about enough to deal with.
She said: “We have learnt to live with it. It is a challenge, but that is the situation.
“At least we got a little bit of that night time reprieve when people go in, if they go in.
“I open my window at 10.20pm and I can hear people talking out there and it does happen.
“It is happening all the time. We have to close most of our windows until 8pm to block out the noise.”
Director of Silures, Daf Andrews, said hourly sound checks are carried out by staff and that other noises coming from beyond their back fence can often be confused for customers being in their outdoor area.
Ms Dredge added: “We all know that people are loud when they are socialising and drinking… if it went on after 8pm we can’t imagine it. We can’t imagine the discomfort.”
Silures, which opened in the building formerly occupied by Cameo on Wellfield Road in May 2023, originally made an application to extend its outdoor operating hours to 10.30pm.
On top of its amended proposal to operate outdoors until 9pm, the restaurant agreed to a number of conditions including:
That the use of the outdoor area is restricted to dining customers only
Allocation of customers to external tables must only be carried out by the Head Host of member of the management team
After 8pm a member of staff must undertake regular patrols of the external area and perimeter on Bangor Street to monitor noise levels from patrons
Talking about what it is like living next to Wellfield Road, another resident on Bangor Street, Alex Ojeda, said: “Before we didn’t have the eateries and things and then suddenly they appear. It is a lot of compromise.”
Alex, 55, has lived on Bangor Street for about 17 years.
He said he also feels as though the 8pm cut off for outdoor seating isn’t always adhered to.
Alex added: “You have to constantly complain about the noise, complain about these things.
“The quality of life too… my sleep just goes out of the window.”
However, the feeling was a mixed one from residents on Bangor Street, with many saying they felt indifferent to the decision.
Some residents on Bangor Street said they have rarely, if ever, experienced any noise issues coming from the establishments on Wellfield Road.
Bangor Street resident, Ed Wheeler, 32, said: “It is really fantastic being located so close to so many good shops, facilities and restaurants and it is particularly pleasing to see a restaurant of that calibre opening here in Roath.
“It is brilliant that there are lots of really nice places in Pontcanna and it is great that they have opened up in our back yard basically.
“We are really happy that these kinds of restaurants are opening here.”
Ed later added: “There is a general concern about the precedent it sets for other restaurants or other bars, but I think as long as it is carefully managed, I don’t think it is an issue.”
Director of Silures, Mr Andrews, said: “We are primarily a restaurant. Although we are a restaurant-bar, the bar is at the front of the venue which obviously isn’t the problem.
“This rear part of the venue is known as the restaurant, so this terrace area here is going to be dining.
“Every guest who is seated there is seated by the Duty Manager. These are reservable tables, so they will be allocated to guests who are eating and therefore everyone who has a glass of wine or a beer will be eating meals via the all-day dining menu.
“Unlike before where it was an uncontrolled space where you would have lots of groups drinking pints of beer and then who knows what else afterwards, it would be a controlled area where it would be people eating and drinking.”
On claims that there is noise emanating from Silures beyond the 8pm cut off time, Mr Andrews added: “We do hourly sound checks. We will be policing it that way. In terms of music, the music will go off at 8pm sharp.
“By then all the payments will have been taken and everyone will have been taken away. There shouldn’t be any chatter.
“I think the challenge will always remain for the Bangor Street residents that there could be staff beyond the back fence there talking and that could easily be confused with people being in our terrace.
“As you can see, the Cameo terrace used to be slightly longer than that. This is about two thirds of the size now and that was part of our strategy in supporting the Bangor Street residents in terms of noise.
“It is smaller, there is now a shed which acts as almost another obstacle in terms of noise and we have also got a canopy there as well.”
by BBC LDRS reporter
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