Thousands Sign Up To Save Fleece

Thousands of local music fans have signed a petition to save Bristol club venue , which is being threatened because a local office block is being turned into apartment housing. 

Bristol City Council has received plans to convert the 47,500-square-foot office block on Victoria Street into residential properties, but the bedrooms in the new flats would be about 20 metres away from the stage.

Fleece owner Chris Sharpe expects a deluge of complaints from new residents about the noise generated by the acts playing the frequently-used venue.

“The Fleece has thrived as a venue for 32 years. One of the key factors in its success is its location,” he wrote on the petition’s website. “The lack of residents in the surrounding streets has meant the venue has been able to offer live music seven nights per week and club nights until 4 a.m. at weekends without disturbing anyone,” he said. “During its entire history The Fleece has not had any issues with noise complaints. If the huge office block located right next door is given the green light to be converted into approximately 80 privately owned flats we would anticipate a deluge of complaints as soon as people move in.”

Developer Edenlaw Ltd. was granted a change of use from offices to residential in November but the council was unable to take noise into account during the process.

A noise survey carried out on behalf of the developer said the Fleece had been “identified as a source of noise affecting the proposed development” but claimed glazed windows would insulate most sound from the venue.

Council planners are due to vote on proposed external alterations to the plans, including changes to the facade and the addition of balconies, at the end of the month. Since opening in 1982 the venue has hosted acts including Oasis, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Manic Street PreachersThe KillersWhite Stripes, and The Verve.