Licensee faces High Court noise battle

By Joe Lutrario joe.lutrario@william-reed.co.uk

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: High court, St albans, Noise abatement notice, Appeal

A St Albans licensee is facing a £30,000 legal bill in a High Court battle with his council over complaints about customers talking in his beer...

A St Albans licensee is facing a £30,000 legal bill in a High Court battle with his council over complaints about customers talking in his beer garden.

Jass Patel, of the Mokoko Bar, was found not guilty of breaching a noise abatement notice in November 2007. St Albans District Council has appealed against the magistrates' decision and has requested a date in the High Court. The city-centre bar was purchased by Patel in 2005 and re-opened in April 2006 as a cocktail bar.

Complaints were made about people talking in the garden and a noise abatement notice was served in June, less than six weeks after the business opened its doors.

Patel said: "There was no effort to resolve the situation. The complaints were about customers talking in the garden. I even went as far as closing the gardens off to my customers at 9.30pm - much to the detriment of my business."

Patel said that he tried to meet with residents, but the council refused to mediate.

The magistrates said that Jass Patel had proved, within all reasonable doubt, that he had done everything he could to remedy the situation, apart from shutting the business.

A spokesperson for the council said: "St Albans is appealing on the grounds that the magistrates were wrong to conclude that the defence of best practicable means had been established. The council discusses issues relating to complaints received with all relevant parties, and will offer suggestions and possible remedies.

"We aim to engage with and seek the co-operation of interested parties."

Patel has received a letter from his solicitor saying that the papers had been filed with the High Court and that a date would be set within the next three weeks.

l MA Opinion - p19

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