Indian restaurant Kassia battles to save its live music licence after noise complaints

AN INDIAN restaurant is fighting for its licence to play live music after noise complaints from tenants living upstairs.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 9:29 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:21 pm
Nazrul Islam and Kaz Miah

Restaurateur Kaz Miah appeared at a licensing meeting yesterday where he faced an application to revoke his permission to host live performances at Kassia in Clanfield. 

It is one of three Kassia venues Mr Miah owns – with his others in Southsea and Drayton – and appeared before East Hampshire District Council after the complaints were lodged in July. 

The gripes have come from a small group of people living in some of the 10 flats above the restaurant, which Mr Miah owns as freeholder for the whole building. 

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Nazrul Islam and Kaz Miah

Yesterday’s meeting was adjourned and he will now arrange for an acoustics assessment of the restaurant and the flats to be carried out. 

‘We are doing everything in our power to keep it as quiet as possible,’ the 42-year-old said. 

‘We’ve reduced the noise level of the music and have put in a device that connects to our own speakers, so external speakers cannot be brought in. 

‘We’ve also had to tell two specific acts they can’t play here anymore, because of the noise, which has been hard because they bring us customers and revenue.’ 

Kassia in Clanfield. Picture: Matthew Clark

The acts, which played jazz and covers, contributed to what Mr Miah has called a ‘brilliant’ live music atmosphere at his Clanfield restaurant since it opened more than two years ago. 

Launched on Friday, an online petition to ‘save’ the restaurant’s live music has been signed by more than 790 people. 

It was set up by 33-year-old Nazrul Islam, the venue’s manager since October, 2017. 

‘I’m absolutely amazed at the response,’ he said. 

‘We are not like a Portsmouth restaurant with a huge area around it, but we are the hub of the community. 

‘The live music is only on once a week and it’s two 45-minute sets. We have permission to play seven days-a-week but out of respect for our neighbours we don’t.’ 

He added: ‘We cannot promise silence, but we will do everything in our power to work with the residents to improve the acoustics.’  

One respondent to the petition, Simon Freeman, said live music is a ‘very important part of the social fabric within Clanfield’. 

Another, Kerry Jones, said: ‘[We] need more places like this, not less.’ 

Mr Miah added: ‘The response to the petition is overwhelming and it shows how much support we have had. We are nothing without the local people.’ 

Kassia will appear before East Hampshire District Council again at 10am on March 14.