Seaside pub wins long-term protection from noise complaints

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Seaside success: Jess Green has co-owned the pub with Rob Jones for the last ten years
Seaside success: Jess Green has co-owned the pub with Rob Jones for the last ten years

Related tags Licensing Health and safety Legislation Social responsibility Sussex

A ‘much-loved’ grassroots music pub in Shoreham, West Sussex, has been granted long-time protection from noise complaints after its operators instructed lawyers.

The Duke of Wellington pub on Brighton​ Road feared noise complaints from a new housing development at the former Adur Civic site could lead to its closure.

But the council and developers Hyde, have offered to enter into an ‘Easement of Noise’, which will give the pub protection from noise complaints.

A 'deed of easement' is a signed, legal document that grants the right to use another person's land for a specifically stated purpose. The right to do something on your own land which would otherwise amount to a private nuisance can be an easement, for example, actions that give rise to noise.

A spokesperson for the pub said: “While it's obviously frustrating that the Welly needed to instruct lawyers to agree to this solution, we are relieved that the pub’s future looks like it will be secured."

Saying thanks

The spokesperson continued: “In the end, it took a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but we hope for an easier route when the next planning application for a development on our other side is submitted!  

“Thanks to everyone who supported us, and with such passion! And, for the invaluable professional support of the Music Venues Trust and our solicitor Tim Taylor.”

Jess Green has co-owned the pub with Rob Jones for the last ten years. “Since 2012, we have had music on these four nights a week,” she told The Morning Advertiser​. “We’re part of a music scene that spreads all the way through Shoreham along to Brighton”.

Green described the pub as a “much-loved venue” and a “community hub” and said to threaten the venue would be unacceptable for many people.

The pub boasts an eclectic range of musical acts, spanning from young bands, to sea shanty singing groups, to punk bands. Fat Boy Slim has also played at the pub.

The venue took measures to safeguarded its long-term future by pursuing a Judicial Review, that challenged permission granted to Hyde as developers of the former Civic Centre site on Brighton Road, Shoreham.

Since 2019, the operators had been aware of plans to develop the site, and had been calling for Adur council to ensure a deed of easement notice was adopted.

Core threat

Noise complaints threaten music venues​, as if councils take away music licences, sites can lose their business.

According to Clara Cullen, the venue support manager at Music Venues Trust (MVT), which aims to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music venues, noise complaints had been a “really core threat” to music venues since 2018. 

Last year, George Orwell’s “perfect pub” was hit by complaints by nearby residents claiming the site was too loud and posed a health hazard. The historic site managed to retain its licence​​ but with an added noise management and dispersal policy issued by Islington Council. 

Furthermore, iconic venue Night & Day Café in Manchester is in the process of appealing a noise abatement notice served by Manchester City Council in 2021, after residents who moved into a neighbouring flat during Covid complained about noise levels. 

The site’s history is star-studded, with band names including Elbow, Wet Leg, Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian having played at the venue as they rose to fame.

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