Noise emanating from extractor fans on the roof of a popular Perth fast food shop was described as being akin to that experienced at an airport.
On Thursday, Councillor Douglas Pover told fellow members of Perth and Kinross Council’s licensing committee that staff at Domino’s Pizza shop in South Street should install a “fool proof” button that switches the fans off late at night.
And committee convenor, Councillor Bob Ellis, told a representative for Domino’s that if they didn’t address the excessive noise the council’s environmental health team would come down on them “like a ton of bricks.”
Domino’s were granted a stay of execution on Thursday, but have been warned they could face prosecution if they are found to be guilty of breaching the Environmental Protection Act and fined up to £5,000.
The pizza chain had previously applied for an extension to its opening hours.
The committee heard from Kirsty McKenzie, an environmental health officer with the local authority, who told councillors that the council “deem” the noise levels a “nuisance.” She stated the council had been looking into the problem since 2006, albeit with a former owner of the premises.
She revealed that environmental health officers had agreed the noise was coming from three extractor fans located on the roof of the pizza house. Ms McKenzie stated that following complaints from some neighbouring residents, tape recordings of the noise were made and this led to a level of 35 decibels being taken – well above the recommended 30 set out by the World Health Organisation.
During the council meeting, Ms McKenzie played two tape recordings of the noise – one taken at 11.30pm from the bedroom of a flat with a window shut, and the other taken at 12.05am from inside another flat with a window open.
She told councillors the noise experienced by nearby residents is heard “seven days a week, at night time.”
Ms McKenzie said there had been a cut-off switch fitted in 2016 to ensure the machinery was turned off at the 11pm closing time, but that staff presently working at Domino’s were unsure how to work this.
Mr Pover said: “The noise you played at these flats sounded like it was taken from an airport. Why not get some timer switch installed?
“This could be a fool proof button. Surely someone working there could operate that.”
And Councillor Dennis Melloy added: “I am appalled that residents have to put up with this noise on a daily basis. I am sure Domino’s can do something to make sure these people don’t lose sleep.”
Stephanie Hands, of Hill Brown Solicitors, speaking on behalf of Domino’s, told the committee the American fast food company would like a “continuation” of the issue discussed at the next committee meeting in order to look into the noise complaints.
The committee agreed, but Mr Ellis stated Domino’s would have to try to operate the cut-off switch in the meantime, and warned the company that if they didn’t do so the council’s environmental health team would come down on them “like a ton of bricks.”
The next committee meeting has provisionally been arranged for May 25