Pubs given hope over noise ruling

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: High court, Appeal, Law

A High Court ruling has given hope to licensees who face legal action over noise complaints from neighbours. Residents who know about the chance of...

A High Court ruling has given hope to licensees who face legal action over noise complaints from neighbours.

Residents who know about the chance of disturbances before they move near to a pub have little grounds for challenge, a judge said.

The comments came during a High Court case involving Jass Patel, licensee of Mokoko bar in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and St Albans District Council.

The council was appealing against a magistrates' decision to acquit the licensee of allegedly breaching a noise abatement notice following a complaint from a neighbour.

The resident, Jane Lockley, had complained she could hear drinkers chatting in the pub's beer garden after moving next door.

However the High Court dismissed the appeal on the basis that Lockley had known the pub was there when she moved in and the pub had taken measures to reduce the nuisance.

The licensee had closed part of the beer garden and restricted the number of people allowed to be in the garden to less than half the legal limit.

Mr Justice Forbes said he was "satisfied that none of the points raised by the council has called into doubt the correctness of the magistrates' decision."

Lynsey Newman, solicitor at SA Law, who acted for Mr Patel said: "We are delighted with the decision. Mr Patel was more than willing to take steps to resolve the noise issue, even to the potential detriment of his business. However, local residents refused to meet him half-way.

"We hope this decision will help protect other bar and pub owners caught in this situation."

Related topics: Other operators, Property law

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