News, Culture & Society

The ridiculous laws that forced a small Sydney bar into closure – and now the building is DESERTED 

Nik Hoar (pictured) was forced to shutdown Mr Falcon’s, a once-popular nightspot in Glebe in inner-west Sydney,

A frustrated former publican claims he was forced to close his beloved bar because of Sydney’s over-zealous red tape and nanny state laws.

Two years ago this month Nik Hoar was forced to shutdown Mr Falcon’s, a once-popular nightspot in Glebe in inner-west Sydney, due to the ever-mounting pressures of nightlife policies.

Despite the venue being situated just outside of the lockout zone, Mr Hoar said the newly-created laws, and a culmination of never-ending issues forced him to close the premises. 

Mr Hoar says his attempts to run a business we blighted by red tape.

He says he was forced to pay thousands of dollars to the council in fines and had to fork out $6,000 for a spiderweb on a CCTV camera.

‘It’s heartbreaking. I put six years of my life into it,’ he told news.com.au

Although the venue first opened in 2011, around three years before lockout laws were implemented, Mr Hoar noted the hostile sentiment in the community made it an uphill battle from the outset.

A neighbour from hell – who lived more than 100 metres down the road – had made a noise complaint five days before he had even put up a Development Application for the venue.

‘The venue would still be vacant for four months. There wasn’t any power, let alone noise,’ Mr Hoar said. 

Mr Hoar (pictured) said the newly-created laws as well as a culmination of never-ending issues forced him to close the premises

Mr Hoar (pictured) said the newly-created laws as well as a culmination of never-ending issues forced him to close the premises

Despite the venue (pictured) being situated just outside of the lockout zone, Mr Hoar said the newly-created laws still impacted the business

Despite the venue (pictured) being situated just outside of the lockout zone, Mr Hoar said the newly-created laws still impacted the business 

The number of noise complaints only grew once the Mr Falcon's (pictured) venue went live

The number of noise complaints only grew once the Mr Falcon’s (pictured) venue went live

And the number of noise complaints only grew once the venue went live. 

‘She complained about an acoustic guitarist but she lived 104 metres away. The acoustic guitarist must have been blisteringly loud,’ he said. 

Police eventually brushed aside the calls from the neighbour.

But that didn’t stop the determined resident, who proceeded to hound various other authorities such as the council until they received some sort of response they deemed sufficient. 

Mr Hoar claimed the City of Sydney council were 'up his butt' the entire time, and continued to find problems with his venue

Mr Hoar claimed the City of Sydney council were ‘up his butt’ the entire time, and continued to find problems with his venue 

Mr Hoar claimed the City of Sydney council were ‘up his butt’ the entire time, and continued to find problems with his venue.

He admitted he was reprimanded on a couple of occasions for allowing people to stay on the premises past midnight.

However, he claims the error was made due to the conflicting information found in his Development Application and liquor licence.

Chief executive of pub group Solotel Justine Baker said said inconsistencies were common in both liquor licences and development applications.

NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong (pictured)  told the publication she thought the Labor and Liberals were on a ‘unity ticket’ to destroy the nightlife in the state capital

NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong (pictured)  told the publication she thought the Labor and Liberals were on a ‘unity ticket’ to destroy the nightlife in the state capital

At the time of the closure, a former employee of Mr Falcon’s took to social media to vent their frustrations.

‘Heartbreaking to see yet another iconic live music venue suffocated by Sydney’s irrational lock-out laws and frivolous noise complaints. RIP Mr Falcons,’ they wrote. 

Mr Hoar has since opened a new venue named Staves Brewery.

He says that the council have been ‘supportive’ and he’s not received any noise complaints.

Sydney’s lockout laws are currently a hot topic of debate with the impending state election.

NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong has said both Labor and Liberals were on a ‘unity ticket’ to destroy the nightlife in the state capital. 

In a statement issued to Daily Mail Australia the City of Sydney said it supports ‘live music and performances’. 

‘The closure of Mr Falcon’s was a decision of the property owner,’ the statement read. 

‘The City of Sydney previously contacted the premise about instances of trading outside of approved hours, but did not take any enforcement action and did not ask the property owner to close the premise or cease staging entertainment.

The images shows the announcement of Mr Falcon's closure, which was shared on social media

The images shows the announcement of Mr Falcon’s closure, which was shared on social media 

‘The City supports live music and performances and wherever possible we work collaboratively with venues to resolve issues,’ it added. 

The statement also stated that the council was obliged to investigate noise complaints. 

‘The City of Sydney is obliged to investigate noise complaints and undertake compliance enforcement action if the noise is assessed as being excessive. 

‘Where possible, we work with venues to try and resolve noise or other complaints without taking regulatory action,’ the statement read.  

The council also said it supports the recommendation made by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the Music and Arts Economy to have only one agency responsible for evaluating and managing noise complaints.

‘As Sydney becomes more densely populated, it’s critical we support and sustain nightlife and culture.

‘Therefore, our planning controls need to keep pace with our population as it grows and changes, and respond to the needs of our residents, workers and visitors,’ the statement said. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Hoar for comment.      

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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