Objections against opening of music club

OBJECTIONS over noise and nuisance have thrown the highly-anticipated opening of Ipswich's first dedicated live music club into jeopardy, it can be revealed today.

OBJECTIONS over noise and nuisance have thrown the highly-anticipated opening of Ipswich's first dedicated live music club into jeopardy, it can be revealed today.

The venue - Qjam - should have officially started trading on May 1 after more than �40,000 was spent refurbishing the derelict waterfront building which once housed the Premier Pool club in Duke Street.

But bosses have been prohibited from operating until a dispute with residents in the neighbouring Orwell Quay development is resumed at a council licensing committee meeting on May 20.

Qjam owner Richard Robinson said the matter has already cost him up to �5,000 and has forced him to make his 18 staff redundant - at a time when jobs are at a premium.

Alan Mison, director of Orwell Quay Management Company Ltd, has formally objected to the club opening, listing a series of concerns over the venture.

A frustrated Mr Robinson, 44, said: “I have had to lay off 18 staff. If we can get a licence I have told them they are welcome to come back and work for me. If we don't, I will give them a good reference.

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“Most of them had left jobs to come to work for me. Some were unemployed so I had taken them off the dole.

“Mr Mison has refused to meet me for a coffee. I invited him to the opening night on Friday, which was a private party, but he wanted nothing to do with it.

“The place is sitting there not being used and everyday it is costing me money.”

Mr Robinson said the venue had been sound-proofed to ensure neighbours were not disturbed and dismissed Orwell Quay's concerns over parking.

“There is already planning permission for a 4,000sq ft pub when the building is eventually knocked down (in 2014) so it's not a licensing issue, it's a planning issue.

“With regard to noise, I asked a couple of residents if they had a problem on Friday and they said they hadn't heard anything at all.

“I think this is scaremongering.”

Mr Robinson ploughed his own money into opening Qjam after spotting a niche in the live music scene in Ipswich.

The capacity is limited to 250 people, but there is potential to double that figure should Qjam drum up sufficient custom.

The venue was selected predominantly because of its close proximity to University Campus Suffolk.

Nobody was available for comment from Orwell Quay Management Company Ltd.

Should Qjam be given permission to open? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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