Summer concerts at the Old Royal Naval College are set to continue next year after Greenwich Council decided not to withdraw its licence after complaints over noise from a music school.
Trinity Laban, which offers music courses in the college campus, sought a review of the licence for the Greenwich Summer Sounds shows because loud soundchecks were disrupting students’ work.
This year’s concerts, which were held in July, included concerts from Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Jones, Black-Eyed Peas and Nile Rogers.
The college has the green light for the shows to continue after a licensing review sub-committee of two councillors decided to take no further action.
Phil Harding, Trinity Laban’s director of finance and estates, told the subcommittee last Monday that it had to move open days and hire external venues for events because the concert organisers, IMG, would not move the concerts to a different week.
“We don’t wish to have to go through all that trouble again and we don’t believe we should have to as a result of the actions taken by our landlord,” he said.
Harding said that he wanted the committee to impose a condition banning the concerts during term time. He said that the Old Royal Naval College had not responded to requests to come to a compromise on events during term time.
But while Trinity Laban had complained about noise during the day breaching 65 decibels, the committee – Labour councillors Ann-Marie Cousins and Matt Morrow – found that this was a target rather than a condition of the licence.
The committee said that “further dialogue may resolve issues”.
An Old Royal Naval College spokesperson said that it was “pleased” with the council’s decision.
“The festival was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for Londoners to come together in the summer to enjoy fantastic music and artists in the stunning surroundings of our Unesco World Heritage site,” she said.
“We worked rigorously throughout the planning process with our site partners to create an exciting and successful event that minimised impact on our local residents and neighbours. We will continue to work hard alongside our site partners for our next events.
“The income generated from these events goes directly towards our charitable aims of conserving our magnificent site and telling our story to everyone who visits. We look forward to continuing to host brilliant events like Greenwich Summer Sounds on site and providing the warm welcome to the Old Royal Naval College that we are renowned for.”
A Trinity Laban spokesperson said: “Trinity Laban clearly feels passionately about the international music scene and never wish to get in the way of audiences enjoying live music. In the past, the festivals on Old Royal Naval College grounds have provided excellent opportunities for our students to share the stage with world-class performers.
“However, in recent years we have been consistently disappointed by festival operations overlooking requests to negotiate with us on optimal timing. It is certainly disappointing that the council has ignored our evidence that previous agreements on noise levels and timings have been reneged upon.
“We are insistent that future iterations of the festival respect the needs of Trinity Laban and other site partners, particularly given the significant role we play in keeping this Unesco World Heritage site alive.”
Amended at 10.30am on Tuesday to make clear that a committee of two councillors made the decision, and again at 2.30pm on Wednesday to include a response from Trinity Laban.