Pub barred from hosting bands

A well known live music pub in north Norfolk has been barred from hosting bands until adequate sound proofing work has been carried out to tackle complaints about excessive noise.

A well known live music pub in north Norfolk has been barred from hosting bands until adequate sound proofing work has been carried out to tackle complaints about excessive noise.

Without the necessary work the Orchard Gardens in North Walsham, run by Collette Rogers and owned by Punch Taverns, will not be allowed to host the music which is so vital to its survival.

At a meeting of North Norfolk District Council's licensing sub committee yesterday, it was decided to modify the pub's licence on a temporary basis, removing its right to hold regulated entertainment.

The right will only be returned once sound proofing work has been completed to a standard which meets the approval of the environmental health officers at the council, said committee chairman Michael Baker.

Mr Baker said he wanted to see the work done quickly and not “bogged down in weeks and months of discussion”.

“We do not want to see this delayed by red tape, all due haste is needed because it is affecting people's livelihoods,” added Mr Baker.

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The hearing was presented with opinion and evidence from a range of people, including Punch representatives TLT Solicitors, neighbours both for and against the pub, the council's licensing officer Tony Gent, Mrs Rogers and the council's environmental protection team leader James Wilson.

Mr Wilson said the complaints from neighbours had been backed up by his officers visiting the area and noting the frequency, type, duration and time of the noise, which was considered to constitute a disturbance.

Mrs Rogers said: “The only way I can run the business is with music, it won't survive without music.”

Neighbour Eamonn Molloy said: “We feel Punch Taverns have really made very little effort to enforce conditions which apply to the premises.

“We feel it is their responsibility ultimately to enforce regulations and give help to their people, which we feel they have not done until now.”

The committee also heard the cost of the works would be the responsibility of Mrs Rogers rather than Punch.