The landlord of the Little Albion pub in Broadstairs will keep the premises licence and the right to have live and recorded music – but must abide by a set of strict conditions, a Thanet council committee ruled today (September 6)
The St Peter’s Road pub, run by landlord Marcus Hogg, had come under fire from residents who complained about excessive noise, both from music and customers outside the boozer in the early hours.
Speaking at the licensing committee meeting today licensing manager Philip Bensted said: “Mr Hogg became the licence holder and DPS in December 2016 and that is when complaints escalated.”
Environmental Health officers sent a letter to Mr Hogg in June about the excessive noise, followed by a noise abatement notice and further warning letters but more complaints followed, particularly during Folk Week last month, and Mr Bensted said there was a lack of response from Mr Hogg.
The Environmental Health department had initially suggested live music at the pub be stopped and a reduction in recorded music made; sound limiting device fitted at the premises and the end of people taking drinks outside.
However, in talks with Mr Hogg and building owner Andy Hunt before the meeting, agreement was made on allowing the pub to retain its live and recorded music but with conditions.
Live and recorded music allowed at the premises indoors only between noon and 11pm each day
The installation of a sound limiting device which cuts out supply for live bands/singers if levels go over 92 decibels (a condition which has already been complied with)
All doors and windows to be kept shut when there is music at the premises
No drinks to be taken outside the premises into Sowell Street or St Peter’s Road after 9pm
No tables and chairs in those same streets
A further condition, taking away non-standard opening times (additional hours for events such as New Year’s Eve) was modified by the committee.
Two residents spoke at the meeting after the conditions were revealed. One was Jeremy Godden, owner of businesses including The Bench, who said tougher conditions should be applied.
Mr Godden, who said he and his partner needed to take sleeping tablets during Folk Week because of the noise from the pub, suggested a reduction in the hours where alcohol could be sold to bring it into line with other local venues.
He added: “In order to make the licence holder respect the law and uphold licensing objectives I suggest he is allowed no live or recorded music and then in 6 months’ time it can be reviewed and he can reapply for the licence.”
Plans to invest
Premises owner Mr Hunt told the meeting that the pub was a good business and Mr Hogg was a great landlord who had garnered more than 900 letters in support of his case. A petition supporting his case was also submitted.
Mr Hunt said door closers and the sound limiter had already been put in place.
Mr Hunt said he planned to invest in the building, installing air conditioning so no problems were created by keeping doors and windows closed, and would look at the suggestion of double glazing.
Changes to opening hours
Following private discussion committee members agreed to allow Mr Hogg to retain the right to have music at the premises under his licence as long as he abided by the conditions agreed with Mr Bensted. They also added a further condition which cuts the current opening hours down from the current 1am and 2am closing times to 11.30pm (plus 30 minutes drinking time) Sunday to Thursday and 12.30am (plus 30 minutes drinking time) on Friday and Saturday. A New Year’s Eve closing time of 1am plus drinking up time was also agreed.
Committee chairman Jenny Matterface said: “I hope that this will be agreeable to residents. If you (Mr Hogg) breach any of those conditions you will be back before us.”
Apologies and thanks
Following the hearing Mr Hogg offered his sincere apologies to neighbours who had been affected by the noise issues and added: “I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported me and The Little Albion pub.”