On 28 February, a licensing sub-committee at Lewes District Council met to review the licence of the Lamb, in Lewes, East Sussex, following complaints of noise and antisocial behaviour.
The hearing was told residents were frequently kept awake and were ‘living in fear for themselves and their property’, and that these issues had adversely affected their health.
Before the hearing took place, however, a turn of events saw Greene King close the pub on 23 February as a result of the upcoming review and plans to sell the premises to Sussex-based restaurant chain, Rustico Italiano.
In regard to this, Greene King asked the sub-committee not to revoke the premises licence because it could prevent the sale going forward.
The licence holder, who was representative at the hearing, also offered to remove the licensable activities of indoor sporting events, live music and anything of a similar description.
And, for the remaining licensable activities, they offered the amendment of the licensable hours from 1am to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
As a result of these efforts, the council agreed the premises could keep its licence and has instead decided to add a number of conditions to its licence.
Some of these included no drinks to be allowed outside of the premises after 10pm and a requirement for door staff – but this would only come into force if the premises were to ever reopen as a bar or pub.
A Greene King spokesperson said: “We are concerned by the points raised by both the police and residents as we promote safe, welcoming pubs nationwide and treat any such reports extremely seriously.”
But the spokesperson also explained they were grateful to the committee for taking the time to hear their submissions.
A public apology
The sub-committee accepted concerns of the local residents and the police about the antisocial behaviour at the premises that had occurred.
However, the sub-committee also took into account the assurances given by the representative of the licence holder that showed the allegations of mismanagement of the premises were taken seriously.
On behalf of Greene King, the representative also made a public apology to the local residents and stated that they wished to work with local residents going forward.
The committee also appreciated the voluntary steps the licence holder had recently taken, including the closure of the premises, the removal of the designated premises supervisor and the offer of altering its current licence conditions.
The Greene King spokesperson continued: “As the building’s owner, we have closed the Lamb in Lewes, ahead of a pending sale of the pub.
“The pub was put on the market some time ago and a buyer has now been found who is looking to take the business forward.”