A music venue in Brimscombe could be forced to close after being served with a council noise complaint notice. 

Much-loved Studio 18 is a popular venue for a variety of events such as exhibitions, workshops such as Band It, charity fundraisers, and DJ disco nights.

Stroud District Council issued a Community Protection Notice Written Warning to owner Zac Walsh on March 29, after receiving noise complaints from neighbours.

It comes after the venue hosted an event on March 24 as part of the Pop Up Music and Culture Book Festival.

Organisers are now concerned about the venue's future, and the situation has been described as "unreasonable" and a “constant worry.”

More than 1,800 people have signed a petition to save Studio 18, urging SDC to protect the space and revoke the council notice.

Stroud News and Journal: Studio 18Studio 18 (Image: Studio 18)

“I am really worried"

Owner Mr Walsh said: “Studio 18 actively contributes to the well-being of the local community by providing art and music entertainment opportunities. 

“I am really worried that now that the legal written warning has been officially sent, that I will open my email, after an event, and discover that a full blown Community Protection Notice has been served on me. 

“It would be a constant worry that one or two noise complaints could subject me to a fine amounting to £20,000 - enough to shut down Studio 18 for good”.

“To help the community better understand what we are doing at Studio 18, we will be holding an open day on Saturday, May 13 between 1pm - 3pm. 

“Local residents can come and look at our work, meet artists; and see the art and music set up being put up by young people from Brimscombe, for a music event that evening.” 

Global Beats' Jagdish Patel, who organises music events at Studio 18, said: “It seems to me that a piece of legislation to stop boy racers and wheel spinners terrorising a neighbourhood is being used willy nilly against Zac and Studio 18. 

“This is a heavy handed, totally disproportionate and unreasonable response from SDC. 

“It does not take into account the high level of support that Zac and Studio 18 has within the local community. 

“We are not asking for a carte blanche licence to make unreasonable noise - just to be treated fairly.”

Stroud News and Journal: Careful Spider at Studio 18Careful Spider at Studio 18 (Image: Studio 18)

"We hope that Studio 18 can continue its great work", says SDC 

A SDC spokesperson said: “Our environmental health officers have received complaints on a number of occasions about noise from amplified music being played in the late evening and early hours of the morning when late night music events have taken place at Studio 18 in Brimscombe. 

“We have a duty to respond to public complaints, so after an investigation, a Community Protection Notice Written Warning (not a CPO) was served on the premises on March 29 which stated that amplified music should not be played so loudly as to unreasonably disturb people living nearby.

“Officers and elected members are in touch with the management at the premises and are working with them to ensure that noise is controlled so that the venue can address the noise concerns and so carry on providing much needed events for the community.

“One of the three priorities in our council plan is community resilience and wellbeing – strengthening and supporting our communities so people feel included and connected. 

“We recognise that Studio 18 is a popular venue for the arts and hope that it can continue its great work."

"It would be a tragedy for this to be lost"

Cllr Robin Drury-Layfield, Vice Chair of SDC’s Environment Committe said: "I met with Zac and the team recently to support the studio in their discussion with officers from Environmental Health.

"We had a thorough and detailed conversation and between us explored a way forward for the venue that would help prevent noise complaints when events are being held.

"The Environmental Health team recognised the contributions made by Studio 18 to Stroud and outlined what the issues were that had triggered the warning letter.

"There is a legal duty on Environmental Health to respond to (and investigate) complaints and this is something they undertake in a very fair and even-handed manner.

"It is important to acknowledge that everyone has the right enshrined in law to peace in their own home and there is a duty on the council to protect this.

"By working with Environmental Health, Studio 18 is seeking to minimise noise disturbance caused by music through a number of actions around the siting of speakers, sound insulation and active monitoring.

"Studio 18 is a much loved arts and cultural venue, providing a service to the community and youth in particular.

"It is self-sustaining and doesn't depend on external grants or financial support, so hosting events is a lifeline for it to continue and it would be a tragedy for this to be lost.

"Zac and Jagdish walked us around the building and described in detail the work they had undertaken to further soundproof the building as well as the Noise Mitigation Strategy they have been putting into place since the original complaints were raised.

"They want to be good neighbours and work with the community so that everyone benefits from Studio 18 being there.

"The Studio is hosting an Open Day on May 13 between 1 and 3pm to invite neighbours and nearby locals to see at first hand the contribution they make to our arts.

"There will be the opportunity to view an exhibition and the set up of an audio, visual and arts event organised by local young artists from the Brimscombe area which is taking place later that day.

"Hopefully, local residents will be able to gain a better understanding of what Studio 18 is trying to achieve and Zac will be there to listen to locals and answer their questions.”

You can see the petition here - https://tinyurl.com/bdcvc8a2