Licensing Hub – Legal with Poppleston Allen

Top tips: how to manage noise complaints

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Significant risk: noise complaints could see pub operators met with enforcement action
Significant risk: noise complaints could see pub operators met with enforcement action

Related tags: Licensing

Following on from our previous top tips on noise in beer gardens earlier this year, and with summer well and truly here with operators using external spaces, now is an apt time to set out some tips for managing the impact of any noise complaints that might come your way:
  • It is important to maintain a good working relationship with your neighbours and to keep them aware of any events that might be taking place at your premises, particularly if you are using outside areas
  • If complaints have already been received, in the ­first instance contact the local resident complainants and ensure you show a willingness to work with your local licensing and environmental health officers to resolve things on an informal basis
  • If the complaint has already been escalated to the relevant licensing and environmental health officers, ensure you liaise with them to get the full details of the complaints, investigate them to ensure they relate to your premises, and take a proactive approach in dealing with the complaint and ­finding a solution to prevent further problems
  • Ideally all events that are taking place, particularly those utilising outside areas, should be risk-assessed in advance. If you do not have a risk assessment, put one in place immediately. This may include considering the type of event, location, period of the event, terminal hours of ampli­fied music and where speakers will be positioned. Consider measures you will have in place such as staff regularly monitoring noise levels at the boundaries of premises to avoid nuisance and effective dispersal of customers at the end of the event
  • Consider the use of an acoustic consultant to review the potential noise breakout against the intended operation of the premises. Installing a new sound system or having ampli­fied music in areas where you would not usually do so without proper consideration of the potential noise impact could result in complaints and enforcement action. A consultant will advise on measures to put in place to mitigate noise and potential nuisance to your neighbours and avoid the threat of complaints and enforcement action.

Noise complaints can be a significant risk to your business and you could be met with enforcement action such as a noise abatement notice (which, if breached, can result in prosecution through the magistrates’ court with the possibility of an unlimited ­fine), or your premises licence being reviewed, which can result in cutting back your permitted hours, onerous conditions being added or, in the most serious cases, revocation. So get on the front foot where you are made aware of complaints from residents.

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

Related topics: Licensing Hub, Licensing law

Related news

Show more