A homeowner has threatened to sue the council over its 24-hour licensing laws, claiming noisy bars and clubs have led to his seaview property decreasing in value.

Mark Hamilton, who lives in Astra House, at the junction of Preston Street and Kings Road, Brighton, claims noise from nearby venues is making his life a nightmare.

He said his one-bed flat and similar properties in the seafront block are valued at about £220,000 but sell for £160,000 because of rowdiness.

Mr Hamilton and his neighbours are discussing the possibility of employing lawyers to launch action against Brighton and Hove City Council for allowing nearby clubs to stay open so late.

He said he has kept noise diaries – as suggested by the council – but “people who are drunk generally don’t like you taking pictures of them”.

Mr Hamilton, a Chinese interpreter who bought the flat for £170,000 cash three years ago, said: “We are now looking at the possibility of legal action.

“About half the flats look over the side or the front and are noisy – ideally we want everyone to come together in legal action.

“Legally if you sell you have to say if there have been complaints so I would have to mention about the noise and that will decrease the value.

'Awful noise'

“The noise is awful. There is fighting, drunk people, shouting. Police are called.

“I wish I had not bought the flat.

“It is a brilliant view but a noise nightmare.

“If people left the area at 11pm then that would not be so bad. But it is 5am or 6am. Every morning our cleaner is clearing up broken glass.”

The council said: “Any complaint about noise is taken seriously by the council.

"The environmental protection team has been working closely with residents in the Preston Street area to investigate concerns and will continue to provide support.

Sound measurement

“The council’s environmental protection team and licensing team, along with the police licensing unit, have met with the key business concerned in response to the complaints.

“Measures have been agreed to improve the situation, including a review of security, management procedures and smoking policies.

“Preston Street is a busy street with a number of licensed premises.

“The council will continue to work with residents, police and licensed premises to ensure the licensing objectives are met and statutory noise nuisance is prevented.”

It’s your voice Is your sleep affected by rowdy drinkers? Email us at letters@theargus.co.uk

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