Popular live music venue Shoal Bay Country Club Hotel has emerged victorious after a three-year dispute with neighbours over noise levels ended in the hotel’s favour.

The hotel, located in a sought-after New South Wales tourist town, first opened in 1954 and now brings in around 6k patrons weekly.

It has been cleared of creating excessive disturbances in the community after residents made claims of noise coming from the venue into the early hours, ‘extremely loud music’ and singing patrons.

There were also concerns of patrons smashing glass on their way out of the venue.

A submission from NSW police supported the claims, advising police had been called to the venue over fifty times in the past three and a half years, with a variety of alleged incidents including public urination, malicious damage, assault, and sale of liquor to minors.

In the request for investigation, neighbours asked Liquor & Gaming NSW to add further conditions on the hotel’s licence, such as extra security guards.

In response, Shoal Bay Country Club Hotel rejected the excessive noise claims, pointing out that the venue is in a tourist area that has many short-term rentals. These houses often host house parties, which are not regulated and add to the noise levels in the vicinity.

While $17 million has been spent by the current owners on upgrades and renovations in recent years, the venue has listened to requests, adding further measures such as employing more security personnel, providing a courtesy bus at the end of busy nights, and only using glassware during the day.

Investigator Jane Lin, Executive Director, Regulatory Operations & Enforcement at L&G said they would not be placing further conditions on the hotel’s licence, noting that the venue is on a commercial strip in the tourist town.

“A level of disturbance from the normal operation of the hotel is to be expected, including noise from music entertainment, patrons, and pedestrian traffic,” said Ms Lin.

“It is reasonable to conclude that a level of noise from people and entertainment, during reasonable hours, will be audible in this area.”

The finding follows plans announced by the state government to protect entertainment venues by the introduction of new laws around noise complaints, and the discounting of licence fees.

According to NSW Planning Minister John Graham, these new laws would combat venues being shut down due to the “NSW sport of a single neighbour (with) serial complaints”.

The venue’s lawyers advised the hotel continues to be open to dialogue with its neighbours.

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