THE owner of one of Worcester’s most popular live music venues has opposed plans to built flats directly opposite – unless soundproofing and ventilation work is included in the scheme.

In 2005, plans were approved to build new offices and six flats at Pierpoint House, Pierpoint Street, opposite the Marrs Bar, which is licensed until 4am.

However, work was not carried out at the time and an application to renew the planning permission was recently put before Worcester City Council’s planning committee.Philip Woodhams, speaking on behalf of Marrs Bar owner Brian Maher, said the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007 had resulted in smokers congregating outside.

He said people living in the flats were likely to have their windows open in the hot summer months and would be disturbed by noise.

He said the Marrs Bar had never received complaints from anyone living in Pierpoint Street and complaints from people who moved into the flats opposite could affect their licence.

Mr Woodhams said: “Noise insulation and mechanical ventilation should be a condition of the plan so when it is hot, people don’t have to open their windows.”

Andrew Boughton, of Boughton Butler Architects, made representations on behalf of the applicant Summerfield Industries and said the modifications would be an “unnecessary cost” for the developer.

He said planning consent had already been granted and the issue of the smoking ban was a “red herring” as it was an issue which would affect any development near a pub or nightclub.

He said: “The Marrs Bar is saying that it is taking possession of the street until 4am. It is a matter for the developer and the people who buy the flats. They are aware of the issues and the appropriate measure can be taken.”

Councillor Andy Roberts said making the developer pay for modifications was “fundamentally unfair”.

He said: “It is like a homeowner being asked to pay for wall insulation because their neighbour has a yapping dog.”

Councillor Joy Squires, who is not a member of the planning committee but represents the Arboretum ward, said: “We have to be looking to create harmonious communities. This is an area which is developing quite rapidly and there will be more residential development which shouldn’t be to the detriment of the things which are already there.”

Members voted to defer the extension of the planning permission while further investigations are carried out.