News / 2nd February 2024

LQ BID submits response to Belfast Council’s proposed city centre bye-laws on Noise Amplification

LQ BID support street performances that provide entertainment and add vibrancy to the city centre for residents and visitors alike. At the same time, we recognise the potential nuisance to staff working in businesses (both retail and office premises) that are exposed to this activity on a daily and often continuous basis – particularly when sound amplification is involved.  Sound amplification can be particularly disruptive to educational institutions and in certain urban settings where noise carries further, e.g. public plazas or confined spaces. Statements have previously been collected from a wide range of businesses expressing these concerns.

The BID has therefore submitted a response to proposed new Belfast City Council bye-laws that expresses our support for regulations that mitigate the potential for negative impacts of street performances utilising sound amplification equipment (including street preaching) for city centre businesses.

The BID supports a permit scheme for the use of sound amplification devices in the city centre that includes restrictions on the location, timing, and duration of such devices. A permit scheme could mitigate the potential for negative impacts from excessive noise and would promote a more balanced approach to the competing rights and responsibilities of different groups within the city centre.

A public consultation runs until the 4th March and can be accessed via the YourSay platform.