Noise nuisance

Sidney Sollinger, Sea Point

It was with considerable interest that I read your article “Businesses battle impact of blackouts” (Atlantic Sun, July 7) on the effects of load shedding on our community.

I was particularly interested to get the comments of Theresa Beukes from the restaurant The Duchess of Wisbeach.

I live in an upmarket block of flats facing Wisbeach Road, adjoining this restaurant, and the noise emanating from this establishment is hard to believe.

Screaming, lurid language and music played at unacceptable levels are a constant disturbance to many locals living near to this establishment.

I have tried unsuccessfully to complain to our ward councillor, and the Sea Point police are happy to accept any complaint, but no action is ever forthcoming.

It is simply unacceptable that an establishment is allowed to overflow their patrons on the pavement, and create excessive noise without any sort of regard for elderly and young tenants of the nearby blocks of flats.

We have to endure these disturbances most nights of the week, and the fact that the owner refers to 120 people at her restaurant illustrates the volume of noise that must emanate from her premises.

We live in constant fear of not being allowed to sleep at a normal hour because of the selfishness ,and lack of control of the very owner who is complaining about load shedding, but in fact is just as guilty of creating a volume of noise that is definitely unacceptable to residents who chose to retire at a normal hour.

Theresa Beukes, owner of The Duchess of Wisbeach, responds:

I am distressed to hear this noise complaint.

We go to great lengths to respect our neighbours and not to cause distress to the residents.

We did a renovation four years ago to move everything one meter back (at a huge cost) to minimise noise, and installed a sound system where the maximum volume was in line with legal sound limit, and when it does go over, it automatically cuts off.

Unfortunately when our guests are leaving and the door opens , the sound is audible from the outside. For this reason we employ a doorman who stands permanently at the door to close it quickly to minimise the noise and to control their conversation levels while they are waiting for their Ubers on the pavement.

Government power cuts delay Ubers because their cellphone reception is down.

We close at midnight, not 2am as our license allows to minimise disturbance to our neighbours.

We ask that our neighbours also try to understand that we are a business, zoned with all our legal licenses in place including a sound barometer to ensure that we are within the legal limit, that is trying very hard to make a come back and ensure that our employees keep their jobs after a disastrous two years of minimal trading.

I believe mutual respect will go a long way in ensuring a healthy economy and good neighbourly relations.

I hope my response satisfies the complainant.

  • At the time of publication, there was no response from SAPS or the ward councillor who is on leave.