Comment by: Mark Anderson
Focus area: Pubs
Regulator concerned: Environmental Heath (Local Authority)
In 2003 the LA gave planning permission at the back of our pub live music venue. The Authority advised, instructed and inspectd the builders noise insultion scheme. In 2008 a resident was in financial difficulties with his mortgage and blamed the pub noise for not being able to sell. A new EHO jobsworth decided that the music was causing a nuisance and would not carry out a noise survey to see why the granted planning permission was not protecting the pub (or residents). The pub now has a noise abatement notice severley restricting its operation and is barely breaking even. The same EH officer tried to get the license amended to stop all live music but we appealed to magistrates and won a partial victory to allow bands 12 times a year – however the tenants continue to be threatened by legal action.
The tie up between EH officers with serious powers, the Council not admiiting a planning mistake, the license authority which basically is instructed by the same council and the police who work too closely and are ‘funded’ via the council does not give any pub a fighting chance. As the EH officer told me ‘it does not matter what you do – we have unlimited resources and legal funds to get our way’. The pub was a regular live musc venue since the 1950′s how can this long standing and popular venue be shut down in this way?