A York city centre bar which has twice been found guilty of noise nuisance is seeking permission to expand.
The plans are being fought tooth and nail by neighbours – amid fears of an increase in anti-social behaviour and potential damage to a Grade II listed building.
Macumba Lounge & Bar is found on Coffee Yard, next to the restored medieval townhouse Barley Hall.
Here is its controversial story so far…
Fined for playing ‘some of the loudest music I have ever heard’
In February last year Macumba’s then owner Hayati Kucukkoylu, 50, of Boltby Road, York, was ordered to pay £1,400 by magistrates for causing a noise nuisance.
The bar ignored an abatement notice served after a noise patrol officer registered ‘some of the loudest music I have ever heard in someone’s home’.
In court again over noise nuisance
Hayati Kucukkoylu was back in court on Tuesday (March 27) for again breaching the noise abatement order.
Following new complaints, noise patrol officers visited the bar’s neighbours between 1am and 1.30am and heard music loud enough to keep nearby residents awake.
The mitigation put forward by Mr Kucukkoylu was that he is no longer involved in the business.
The magistrates sentenced him to six months conditional discharge, full costs of £1,159.43 and a court surcharge of £20.
Macumba’s courtyard plans
Hayati Kucukkoylu is no longer involved in the business. But Mitat Kucukkoylu still is.
He has applied for planning permission to expand Macumba, which is also listed under another name, Kuja Lounge.
The planning application asks City of York Council permission to do two things:
- to allow a change of use from cafe/restaurant (use class A3) to mixed use cafe/restaurant and drinking establishment (use class A3/A4)
- to install a free standing canopy over the licensed outdoor area.
North Yorkshire Police designing out crime officer Richard Ball says the first of these “appears to be a retrospective change of use application to bring it in line with its premises licence”.
Under the plan, both the restaurant and bar would be open from 8am to 2.30am.
In a statement to planners, the bar owners say:
The use of this premises is compatible with the neighbouring predominantly restaurant/ retail/ public house uses of which have already been granted planning permission of change of use and 2.30am closing times, and the premises is appropriately controlled to ensure that nearby residential amenity is not unduly affected.
But Barley Hall’s owners say ‘no’
Macumba’s hopes to install the free standing canopy look set to be dashed whatever planners decide.
York Archaeological Trust own Barley Hall – and the whole of the Coffee Yard courtyard.
In a submission to the council, Gill Gimes from the trust says it has not granted the bar permission for “use of the courtyard area” or to install permanent fixtures and fittings there.
For the avoidance of doubt, this part of the application is not deliverable without our consent, which we withhold.
Fears for the historic hall
The trust also objects to the bar’s plans to open later and change its use. Barley Hall is a family and schools-focused attraction, writes Mrs Gimes:
“The noise generated by customers and their general behaviour dissuades visitors from coming and is detrimental to the enjoyment of those attending events and tours.”
More than that
We are also concerned about damage to the listed building caused by customers leaving the premises, particularly to the wooden exterior staircase to the building which is used by bar customers as a smoking space, having had such issues in the past.
Crime officer Richard Hall states there have been 67 crimes and 36 anti-social behaviour incidents within a 50m radius of the bar in the year since March 1 2017.
New shops planned for Coffee Yard – and the owner objects
Kathryn Vint ‘strongly objects’ to Macumba’s plans.
She owns 1A Coffee Yard and is ‘spending a huge amount of money’ turning the derelict property into two shops and a flat.
Mrs Vint says they have already endured anti-social behaviour from Macumba – and not just the ‘ridiculously loud’ noise.
Our courtyard is often filled with loo rolls, empty glass bottles, cigarette butts etc that drunk people have thrown over the wall and we often need to clear empty bottles and litter from the door steps.
We also recently had damage to the door window of our property and have noticed the doorways have been used as urinals.
‘No-go’ area for families
Another neighbour has also objected – fearing that the plans would have a detrimental impact on Barley Hall.
And Helen Hammond, who lives close by on Low Petergate, also says there are already too many bars in this part of York.
“The centre of York is rapidly becoming a ‘no-go’ area for the majority of family visitors and
residents due to the very large number of late-night drinking establishments already allowed in this part of the city, and the noisy and sometimes undesirable customers they attract,” she writes.
“We do not need another such establishment.”
Mitat Kucukkoylu and Hayati Kucukkoylu may no longer work together at Macumba. But they are both directors of two restaurant companies, both with the same registered address, Holtby Manor, Stamford Bridge Road, Dunnington, York. They are:
- Saray 50 Ltd
- Cappadocia 50 Limited.