Homeowner threatens legal action over noisy Brighton clubs

The Argus: A picture taken by Mr Hamilton outside Session in Preston Street as viewed from his home A picture taken by Mr Hamilton outside Session in Preston Street as viewed from his home

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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Comments (36)

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11:10am Mon 17 Dec 12

leobrighton says...

Good luck with that and if by any chance you are successful perhaps a few thousand more people will have a go. My advice sell up if you don't like it should have known better in the first place
Good luck with that and if by any chance you are successful perhaps a few thousand more people will have a go. My advice sell up if you don't like it should have known better in the first place leobrighton

11:25am Mon 17 Dec 12

CharlotteP says...

It was noisy there three years ago... its not a new thing. Do your research before buying!
It was noisy there three years ago... its not a new thing. Do your research before buying! CharlotteP

11:37am Mon 17 Dec 12

wolfie says...

CharlotteP wrote:
It was noisy there three years ago... its not a new thing. Do your research before buying!
totally agree brighton has always been the same will never change more research needed mr rich man
[quote][p][bold]CharlotteP[/bold] wrote: It was noisy there three years ago... its not a new thing. Do your research before buying![/p][/quote]totally agree brighton has always been the same will never change more research needed mr rich man wolfie

11:37am Mon 17 Dec 12

Hove Actually says...

I would have though it was getting quieter with all the closures and people spending less. Keeping a diary is good but is it proof? you would be better with CCTV and recordings to back up your claims
I would have though it was getting quieter with all the closures and people spending less. Keeping a diary is good but is it proof? you would be better with CCTV and recordings to back up your claims Hove Actually

11:37am Mon 17 Dec 12

uniteagainstparkingcharges says...

Why should a flat he bought just 3 years ago have increased in value by £50,000?

Even flats in the most sought-after locations haven't seen that deal of value increase. I think Mr Hamilton is living in dream-land.

It is not an area that has suddenly become a popular area for late night revellers and he should have considered this when he bought it. If I was his lawyer I would tell him not to pursue a legal case that will inevitably fail.
Why should a flat he bought just 3 years ago have increased in value by £50,000? Even flats in the most sought-after locations haven't seen that deal of value increase. I think Mr Hamilton is living in dream-land. It is not an area that has suddenly become a popular area for late night revellers and he should have considered this when he bought it. If I was his lawyer I would tell him not to pursue a legal case that will inevitably fail. uniteagainstparkingcharges

11:38am Mon 17 Dec 12

MuammarQaddafi says...

If Mr Hamilton paid £170K three years ago and his place is still worth £160K, he's not done all that badly. Sounds like the places may be overvalued for rates, though.
If Mr Hamilton paid £170K three years ago and his place is still worth £160K, he's not done all that badly. Sounds like the places may be overvalued for rates, though. MuammarQaddafi

11:42am Mon 17 Dec 12

julesgemini says...

Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise!
Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise! julesgemini

11:42am Mon 17 Dec 12

julesgemini says...

Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise!
Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise! julesgemini

11:51am Mon 17 Dec 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

Totally agree, I sympathise with his problem, but WHY WHY WHY on earth would you buy a flat slap bang in the centre of Brighton in the middle of the nightlife if you didn't expect noise?

Seems a bit daft to me to buy there!

As for it being valued at something and selling at some other price, that's life!
Totally agree, I sympathise with his problem, but WHY WHY WHY on earth would you buy a flat slap bang in the centre of Brighton in the middle of the nightlife if you didn't expect noise? Seems a bit daft to me to buy there! As for it being valued at something and selling at some other price, that's life! mustaphaLeeko

12:16pm Mon 17 Dec 12

nosolution says...

Some people will complain about something,get the bit between their teeth and bolt going as far as they can with it including emailing the Argus with their complaints.Town centres are noisy at night that's life,he,s fighting a losing battle so live with it or take your ten grand profit and shift camp...
Some people will complain about something,get the bit between their teeth and bolt going as far as they can with it including emailing the Argus with their complaints.Town centres are noisy at night that's life,he,s fighting a losing battle so live with it or take your ten grand profit and shift camp... nosolution

12:24pm Mon 17 Dec 12

mrtricky says...

Give up now mate and save your appeal money as legal action v Council wont work.

A friend and residents living in a small Bournemouth town centre flat block had a similar situation last year and tried to sue local council. Totally unsuccessful and residents ended up with the legal bill.
Give up now mate and save your appeal money as legal action v Council wont work. A friend and residents living in a small Bournemouth town centre flat block had a similar situation last year and tried to sue local council. Totally unsuccessful and residents ended up with the legal bill. mrtricky

1:02pm Mon 17 Dec 12

sbiscorrupt says...

Caveat emptor!
Caveat emptor! sbiscorrupt

1:07pm Mon 17 Dec 12

jamus77 says...

Secondary glazing is very effective for noise, much more so than double-glazing. If you can get a gap of 8-10cm you'd be amazed at the difference. Cheaper too. No one takes noise pollution seriously in this country. The police passed the buck to local authorities years ago, and they simply have better things to worry about.
Secondary glazing is very effective for noise, much more so than double-glazing. If you can get a gap of 8-10cm you'd be amazed at the difference. Cheaper too. No one takes noise pollution seriously in this country. The police passed the buck to local authorities years ago, and they simply have better things to worry about. jamus77

1:28pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Surely not! says...

You bought a flat in central Brighton...I hope some one warned you about the big body of water just across the way!
You bought a flat in central Brighton...I hope some one warned you about the big body of water just across the way! Surely not!

1:29pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Reporter1 says...

Just trying it on.
Just trying it on. Reporter1

1:57pm Mon 17 Dec 12

clubrob6 says...

The area he is talking about has had late nightlife for years.Why should people in the middle of a city go home at 11 just because this man did not do his research befor he bought the flat.If anything noice will get worse as police dont leave their cars except in west street.All the judge will rightly say is the noice was there befor he bought the flat.Plus how does this man think hes made £50000 on his property in 3 yrs i think he is just trying it on.
The area he is talking about has had late nightlife for years.Why should people in the middle of a city go home at 11 just because this man did not do his research befor he bought the flat.If anything noice will get worse as police dont leave their cars except in west street.All the judge will rightly say is the noice was there befor he bought the flat.Plus how does this man think hes made £50000 on his property in 3 yrs i think he is just trying it on. clubrob6

2:09pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

Well it appears many commenters have beaten me to it. Yet again we have a moaning NIMBY. You live in the centre of Brighton next to bars and clubs and complain of the noise? You want to live next to sea in the centre, but it's too noisy, well yes!! It doesn't take a genius to work out!! Good luck with suing, you'll get nowhere. The places will be fully licensed and legal. Move somewhere else if you want a quiet life. Some people are so weird. It's like saying, Oh I'm suing that farmer because all I can hear is his tractor and cows in the morning and it wakes me up. It's stating the bleating obvious and something you will just have to live with! I live in a very quiet close out of Brighton, but do I complain it's too quiet? No I love it. I love Brighton, but would never choose to live where this guy lives for the one reason he thinks he can sue the council for! Utter lunacy.
Well it appears many commenters have beaten me to it. Yet again we have a moaning NIMBY. You live in the centre of Brighton next to bars and clubs and complain of the noise? You want to live next to sea in the centre, but it's too noisy, well yes!! It doesn't take a genius to work out!! Good luck with suing, you'll get nowhere. The places will be fully licensed and legal. Move somewhere else if you want a quiet life. Some people are so weird. It's like saying, Oh I'm suing that farmer because all I can hear is his tractor and cows in the morning and it wakes me up. It's stating the bleating obvious and something you will just have to live with! I live in a very quiet close out of Brighton, but do I complain it's too quiet? No I love it. I love Brighton, but would never choose to live where this guy lives for the one reason he thinks he can sue the council for! Utter lunacy. Hoarder12345444

2:31pm Mon 17 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

"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".

What's he on about, valued at £220k and sells for £160k. Can't be valued at £220k then! Value must be £160k if that's all you can get for them.
"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". What's he on about, valued at £220k and sells for £160k. Can't be valued at £220k then! Value must be £160k if that's all you can get for them. sussexram40

2:33pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Crystal Ball says...

I wonder if this man has ever moved to the flightpath of an airport and then thrown a paddy about the noise level?

Quit your moaning you whining maggot.
I wonder if this man has ever moved to the flightpath of an airport and then thrown a paddy about the noise level? Quit your moaning you whining maggot. Crystal Ball

2:54pm Mon 17 Dec 12

cornwellc says...

I agree that noise polution is a nightmare but to be honest, if you know Brighton, you would avoid buying a property where he lives. On top of this, he paid £170,000 cash? if he has this sort of money available, why on earth would you have brought there? i understand the views are good but surely a little more would have brought you views in an area that was less noisy? Preston Street has always been pretty noisy (i used to live parallel to it) and equally the seafront below his appartment is always busy with people walking past day and night.
I agree that noise polution is a nightmare but to be honest, if you know Brighton, you would avoid buying a property where he lives. On top of this, he paid £170,000 cash? if he has this sort of money available, why on earth would you have brought there? i understand the views are good but surely a little more would have brought you views in an area that was less noisy? Preston Street has always been pretty noisy (i used to live parallel to it) and equally the seafront below his appartment is always busy with people walking past day and night. cornwellc

2:55pm Mon 17 Dec 12

jamus77 says...

Mr Hamilton should realise that the 'value' of your property is what someone else it prepared to pay for it, not what an estate agent tells you it is worth.
Mr Hamilton should realise that the 'value' of your property is what someone else it prepared to pay for it, not what an estate agent tells you it is worth. jamus77

3:29pm Mon 17 Dec 12

bhafcforever says...

Noise late at night in Central Brighton - what a surprise!!

People never cease to amaze!

Also, what relevance is it that he paid cash for the property?

Good luck with your legal action, that will be a sure fire way to lose more money.
Noise late at night in Central Brighton - what a surprise!! People never cease to amaze! Also, what relevance is it that he paid cash for the property? Good luck with your legal action, that will be a sure fire way to lose more money. bhafcforever

3:41pm Mon 17 Dec 12

BURIRAM says...

julesgemini wrote:
Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise!
It has always been bad it that area up to 2am but now it goes on all night up to 6am there is trouble in the centre of Brighton and also Kemptown
[quote][p][bold]julesgemini[/bold] wrote: Don't live in Brighton if you don't like noise! As Charlotte said you should have done your research! It's always been noisy in that area. Anyone buying a flat there would do so because they want to live in lively area and put up with the noise![/p][/quote]It has always been bad it that area up to 2am but now it goes on all night up to 6am there is trouble in the centre of Brighton and also Kemptown BURIRAM

3:45pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Flippin Burghers says...

Perhaps Mr Hamilton takes valuations by estate agents a bit too seriously.
Perhaps Mr Hamilton takes valuations by estate agents a bit too seriously. Flippin Burghers

6:41pm Mon 17 Dec 12

puddingandpi says...

1) He must've known about the area when he bought the place, or did he just buy it unseen as an investment?
.
2) Why the hell does he think he got it so cheap in the first place?
1) He must've known about the area when he bought the place, or did he just buy it unseen as an investment? . 2) Why the hell does he think he got it so cheap in the first place? puddingandpi

7:08pm Mon 17 Dec 12

vogon1 says...

I bought a house next to Heathrow last week and do you know what? Only aircraft taking off all hours of the day, that's what. It's outrageous. I'm going to sue Middlesex County Council as it's clearly their fault
I bought a house next to Heathrow last week and do you know what? Only aircraft taking off all hours of the day, that's what. It's outrageous. I'm going to sue Middlesex County Council as it's clearly their fault vogon1

7:39pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Council Pound says...

Let it out m8
Let it out m8 Council Pound

7:41pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Council Pound says...

Or gently rub some parsley on it and smooth it into a creamy batter and leave to chill...............
....
Or gently rub some parsley on it and smooth it into a creamy batter and leave to chill............... .... Council Pound

8:15pm Mon 17 Dec 12

I'm Batman says...

King's Rd, the one in the middle of town, the one with all the night clubs? Can't imagine it'll be noisy at all.

And from the article "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."

Think you should be pointing your legal team towards the previous owner, they might have been telling some porky pies.
King's Rd, the one in the middle of town, the one with all the night clubs? Can't imagine it'll be noisy at all. And from the article "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." Think you should be pointing your legal team towards the previous owner, they might have been telling some porky pies. I'm Batman

9:33pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Thumper Hove says...

Good luck with those court cases !! Do these whining idiots not realise that the seafront has been noisy for decades. Did they not wonder if a flat on a main road on a seafront near clubs and pubs would be a tad noisy?

These Nimby's are no different to those whining about the effect of the hospital in Kemptown (which has only been there for 200 years!)
Good luck with those court cases !! Do these whining idiots not realise that the seafront has been noisy for decades. Did they not wonder if a flat on a main road on a seafront near clubs and pubs would be a tad noisy? These Nimby's are no different to those whining about the effect of the hospital in Kemptown (which has only been there for 200 years!) Thumper Hove

9:33pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Thumper Hove says...

Good luck with those court cases !! Do these whining idiots not realise that the seafront has been noisy for decades. Did they not wonder if a flat on a main road on a seafront near clubs and pubs would be a tad noisy?

These Nimby's are no different to those whining about the effect of the hospital in Kemptown (which has only been there for 200 years!)
Good luck with those court cases !! Do these whining idiots not realise that the seafront has been noisy for decades. Did they not wonder if a flat on a main road on a seafront near clubs and pubs would be a tad noisy? These Nimby's are no different to those whining about the effect of the hospital in Kemptown (which has only been there for 200 years!) Thumper Hove

10:59pm Mon 17 Dec 12

ghost bus driver says...

If he's talking about Preston Street then that would be the club which was once the Engine Room. Once it was full of teenage Metal heads having a good time, no trouble at all. Now it's some chav infested dive to which the police are constantly being called
If he's talking about Preston Street then that would be the club which was once the Engine Room. Once it was full of teenage Metal heads having a good time, no trouble at all. Now it's some chav infested dive to which the police are constantly being called ghost bus driver

7:56am Tue 18 Dec 12

whereisthe...? says...

Well done that man!! Good on you sir - legal action may be the ONLY way to make these selfish clubs sit up and actually take notice. Particularly when the Police and council do nothing.


The problem has only gotten worse, despite what some posters in this forum today would like you to believe (hello to you club employees and owners posing as unbiased "citizens" by the way)...


Often thought the threat of personal legal action may well be the only real recourse - and it made the papers, didnt it? The guy must be doing something right...
Well done that man!! Good on you sir - legal action may be the ONLY way to make these selfish clubs sit up and actually take notice. Particularly when the Police and council do nothing. The problem has only gotten worse, despite what some posters in this forum today would like you to believe (hello to you club employees and owners posing as unbiased "citizens" by the way)... Often thought the threat of personal legal action may well be the only real recourse - and it made the papers, didnt it? The guy must be doing something right... whereisthe...?

11:12am Tue 18 Dec 12

Fairfax Sakes says...

I once had dinner in a Chinese restaurant on Preston Street which smelt of fish, however the spare ribs were quite-I would recommend fried rice over boiled rice as a side
I once had dinner in a Chinese restaurant on Preston Street which smelt of fish, however the spare ribs were quite-I would recommend fried rice over boiled rice as a side Fairfax Sakes

11:46am Tue 18 Dec 12

scoobysnax says...

It's not really the value of the flat, it's the fact that the council is doing nothing about it. No one minds pubs & clubs opening till 11 and 12, it's the fact that they close @ 6, cause major alcohol fueled violence and noise. Police don't police licenses any more because of the cuts. The council gives out these stupid 24hr licenses and don't do anything about it! Take the money and laugh. Green council what a joke! The only thing we are asking for is a review, and the stupid council refuses saying that photo and video evidence can't be included anymore. Such a densely populated area shouldn't have 24hr licensing!!
It's not really the value of the flat, it's the fact that the council is doing nothing about it. No one minds pubs & clubs opening till 11 and 12, it's the fact that they close @ 6, cause major alcohol fueled violence and noise. Police don't police licenses any more because of the cuts. The council gives out these stupid 24hr licenses and don't do anything about it! Take the money and laugh. Green council what a joke! The only thing we are asking for is a review, and the stupid council refuses saying that photo and video evidence can't be included anymore. Such a densely populated area shouldn't have 24hr licensing!! scoobysnax

1:01pm Tue 18 Dec 12

jamus77 says...

Scoobysnax makes a good point re. licensing. It's like the wild west out there - with no one policing anything. Instead it's up to individuals and disgruntled residents to keep noise diaries and make complaints etc...and still nothing gets done. I live opposite a pub that has regular 'lock-ins' so people spill out onto the street at 1 or 2am. Nothing is ever done about it. The police have washed their hands of licensing and local authorities are ill-equipped to do anything about it. This is a serious issue that need remedying,
Scoobysnax makes a good point re. licensing. It's like the wild west out there - with no one policing anything. Instead it's up to individuals and disgruntled residents to keep noise diaries and make complaints etc...and still nothing gets done. I live opposite a pub that has regular 'lock-ins' so people spill out onto the street at 1 or 2am. Nothing is ever done about it. The police have washed their hands of licensing and local authorities are ill-equipped to do anything about it. This is a serious issue that need remedying, jamus77

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