Pub’s late licence reduction “an appalling decision”

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Reduced: Luton pub's licence reduced from 24-hour to 1am
Reduced: Luton pub's licence reduced from 24-hour to 1am

Related tags Late licence

A decision to reduce a Bedfordshire pub’s licence has been called “appalling” on a petition the licensee has started to restore its late-night licence.

The Wheelwright Arms in Luton had its 24-hour licence reduced to 1am due to noise complaints from residents in the area last month (July).

Helena Dalgarno, licensee of the pub, started the petition to save the venue’s late licence after Luton Borough Council reduced it, and it has received more than 600 signatures.

She told local newspaper Dunstable Today​ that customers were not happy and they had received a lot of support from the community.


One comment on the petition said: “This is a fantastic venue. It has been in the heart of Luton town centre for as long as I can remember and has played a vital part in the culture of the town. It is situated in a largely commercial area so the later licence shouldn’t disrupt a large number of residences.

“The pub itself is not known as a hot spot for trouble and in comparison to other establishments passes every weekend without any bother at all. To limit the licence not only impacts the livelihood of everyone working there, it places in jeopardy yet another traditional establishment within our town centre. Quite simply an appalling decision.”

Dalgarno also said they had lost customers due to the licence change, as some would pop in for a drink after a late shift and guests from the pub’s bed and breakfast would come into the pub for a drink later.

She explained that the noise complaints were “loud chitter-chatter” and there was never trouble at the venue.

She added: “I am very passionate about my job and I care about my customers. We are a family-run pub; it is me, my sister and my two sons. I am disappointed with the council for coming down so hard on us.”


The newspaper also reported that a council spokesperson said: “A number of complaints from residents have been received since 2015 relating to noise in the early hours of the morning from the beer garden and loud music from external speakers.

“Monitoring equipment was installed nearby and many efforts were made to advise the licensee of the issues and possible repercussions of failing to control the noise.

“A noise abatement notice and then a final warning were served, however it continued to be a problem and further complaints were received, therefore an application for a licence review was made.

“The licensing panel decided to restrict the times on the licence to 7am-1am, Monday-Sunday. Public safety conditions were also imposed requiring use of CCTV, registered door supervisors and plastic glasses on Luton Town FC match days.

“The Council’s licensing objectives are very clear in that premises are not permitted to cause a noise nuisance to local residents and when there is statutory evidence, the environmental protection team must take action to prevent reoccurrence.”

Related topics Licensing law

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