NOISE COMPLAINTS

Much-loved pub wins legal battle over noise complaints

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Winning Post licensee: 'this has disrupted my life for three years' (photo via Google Streetview)
Winning Post licensee: 'this has disrupted my life for three years' (photo via Google Streetview)

Related tags: Noise abatement notice, Law

A pub has won a three-year legal battle to be able to continue hosting live bands and musical entertainment. 

Following a court hearing, Seamus Herward, licensee of the Winning Post, Sutton, Surrey, was told his pub would not be prohibited from providing entertainment.

A noise abatement notice was first issued against the Winning Post in 2013.

He said: “This has disrupted my whole life for three years. I am so pleased – the case was very well presented and argued. Excellent outcome.”

Residents of a flat approximately 40 metres from the pub's garden alleged that the pub had held private functions, Saturday night DJ sets and karaoke evening that breached the notice.

Reliance on opinion 

During the hearing, Herward’s representatives, Keystone Law, criticised what they saw as the local authority’s reliance on opinion rather than calibrated noise measurements.

Keystone’s licensing lawyer Robert Sutherland said: “Although the law allows the local authority to bring prosecutions without scientific data, that evidence has to be reliable.

“If it isn’t, local authorities cannot simply say they don’t need accurate data and expect the courts to convict individuals.”

'No substance'

Big Sky Acoustics noise expert Richard Vivian added: “Although witness statements were submitted by six officers, there was no substance to their evidence.

“They all relied entirely on vague and subjective assessments of the noise levels and there was no consistency between them.”

Related topics: Licensing law

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