THE managing director of one of Glasgow’s best known nightclubs has warned that plans to build a hotel next door threaten its future and highlight a wider threat to Glasgow’s reputation as a music city.

Mike Grieve believes the Sub Club, which is seen as a lynchpin of the city’s lucrative night-time economy, claims the decision to grant planning permission for a new Wetherspoon hotel has failed to put the onus on the developers to protect future residents from music noise.

READ MORE: Industry experts fear for Scots music venues amid growing Sub Club concerns

He fears that as a result, complaints will be inevitable and will lead to demands for noise control that will be either impossible or uneconomical to enforce, leading to the closure of the club – one of the longest running in the world.

His view is backed by experts and promoters in the music industry who say the planning decision not only flies in the face of Scottish Government recommendations but also highlights a potential threat to the tourist industry build on the back of Glasgow’s thriving live music scene.

“It’s very serious,” Grieve told The Sunday National. “It’s serious for us as a business and an established music institution but moreover it’s serious for music venues generally in so far as there is a clear need for them to be protected.”

He added: “I think this sets a precedent that is very concerning for other venues and the night-time economy. Glasgow punches above its weight in terms of music. Hotels are very important but without the music economy bringing tourists into the city I would question their viability. If no one is here to fill them what’s the point?”

The Scottish Government recently agreed to incorporate into planning laws the Agent of Change principle, which is designed to protect existing music venues by making developers responsible for the costs of any sound proofing.

Glasgow City Council has indicated it too is in favour of the principle but Grieve said the original application for the hotel in 2016 failed to consider any noise from either the Sub Club or the Classic Grand venue in the same building.

“It’s unbelievable that no consideration was given to noise ingress to the hotel bedrooms when they are right next door to the Sub Club and a matter of eight to 10 feet away,” he said.

Taking legal advice, the Sub Club petitioned for a judicial review to try to resolve the issue but say they were asked by planners to put it on hold pending a consultation which took place in February this year.

There it was agreed that an amendment would be made to the original application to deal with the potential music noise problem.

Taking advice from acoustic consultants the Sub Club put forward a proposal but heard nothing back.

At a planning committee last week an amendment was made to the original application but the Sub Club, pictured below, and influential organisations within the music industry objected to it on the grounds that it does not go far enough.

The National:

“It suggests there has to be an assessment of noise but says that this must be done by ‘a method agreed in advance and in writing with the planning authority’ and does not define what the methodology is or any measurable impact,” said Grieve. “It is being left to the discretion of the planning authority to make a call on it as they see fit and does not allow us sufficient protection from noise complaints. By the time the hotel is built it seems inconceivable that they would pull it down again.”

He said the Sub Club’s concerns and those of 21 objectors including the Night Time Industry Association, Music Venue Trust, Scottish Music Association and UK Music were not outlined properly to the committee members before they agreed to grant permission.

“I don’t think they realise that this is a very serious threat to us,” said Grieve. ‘‘The whole point of the Agent of Change principle is that a new development entering an existing environment can’t seek to have the environment changed just to suit their development.

“It has to be in the build from day one. It is not something that can be addressed retrospectively which is why it is so serious. It should not be our responsibility but it may be impossible to deal with it once the hotel is built.”

He said he was not objecting to the hotel being built as he welcomed the development of a gap site but it had to be done in a way that did not threaten the existence of a music venue.

“The Sub Club has survived 30 years in Glasgow which is almost unheard of in the wider world,” Grieve pointed out. “It is unquestionably very important to Glasgow culturally and to the night-time economy and tourism offer that Glasgow has.

He said the club was currently taking advice on further legal action.

A council spokeswoman said: “The condition of the planning application granted was for a noise survey and assessment demonstrating the impact of music and entertainment noise for all adjacent commercial premises on the proposed development to be carried out.”

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart said: “I am attracted by the prospect of embedding the Agent of Change principle into our planning system so that we can protect the established and emerging talent in our music industry. I am currently considering the best way to achieve this within our overall package of reforms.”

Wetherspoon was not available for comment.