PMA launches Make Some Noise campaign

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags License Chief executive Pub association

Through Make Some Noise, we aim to unite the industry in lobbying the Government to implement an ‘agent of change principle’
Through Make Some Noise, we aim to unite the industry in lobbying the Government to implement an ‘agent of change principle’
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser today launches a campaign to protect established pubs and bars that are threatened with closure due to noise complaints.

Through Make Some Noise​, we aim to unite the industry in lobbying the Government to implement an ‘agent of change principle’. This outlines that a person or business that causes a change in environment is responsible for managing its impact.

It means if residents move near to a pub they would have to adapt their building to cope with noise, but if a new pub opens in a residential area, the pub would be responsible for the costs to minimise disturbance.

The principle would help prevent hundreds of licensees across the country being slapped with extra conditions on their licences or forced to foot the bill for soundproofing installation and other measures following noise complaints from new residents.

The principle was adopted by Bristol City Council in August, forcing developers to install soundproofing for new residential flats built opposite music venue the Fleece. It has also been fully implemented in the state of Victoria in Australia.

'Insane and unjust'

Kent licensee Bob Mitchell who has been “inundated” with noise complaints from new locals said: “It seems strange but it is a cold, hard fact that some people choose to live next to or near a well-established business and then complain about these businesses’ everyday operations. I find it insane and unjust that instead of using the venue, they try and force change, which in turn will close the pub.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Many pubs have been at the heart of their communities for decades or even centuries. It must be right that a burden should not be placed on pubs, when issues arise between new homes/developments, and pubs.”

Increasing operator confidence

Graeme Cushion, partner at licensing law firm Poppleston Allen, said: “Adoption of the agent of change principle would enable operators to have greater confidence in the longevity of successful business models without fear of having them derailed by new residents.”

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We support the PMA’​s initiative to combine our lobbying activity to try to deliver something that would materially improve the trading environment for licensees.”

A spokesman from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We need to strike the appropriate balance between managing noise and considering the needs of businesses.

“That’s why we’ve introduced policies to support venues such as reducing requirements for live music to be licensed, while ensuring the public is protected from unreasonable noise.”

Join our campaign to change the law

If you have a story to tell email or call her on 01293 610305.

To join in the debate tweet us​ with the hashtag #pubsnoise or post a message on our facebook page​.

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