Posted: Wednesday, 13 May 2009 @ 16:13
A great summer of sun is forecast, and the licensed trade desperately needs kind weather particularly after last year’s washout and the winter of credit crunch misery. Sunshine puts everyone in a good mood, and particularly customers who will be more inclined to spend their cash as part of the feel good factor.
But there is danger in the sunshine, and not just from sunburn! Pub gardens and outside areas will be a big attraction. But all this outside activity will generate a lot of noise, which may be a nuisance to neighbours, particularly at dusk and beyond.
There have been several cases of premises licences taken to a review hearing before the licensing authority by unhappy neighbours complaining of noise nuisance from smokers and others enjoying the outdoor ambiance. This could result in conditions being imposed on the premises licence restricting the use of outside areas to specific times, or setting a noise limit with a requirement to steward the areas and take noise readings. It is also possible that the local environmental health officers will become involved, and they are required to investigate complaints between 11 pm and 7 am and can issue written warnings or fixed penalty notices, and also as responsible authorities they have the right themselves to seek a review of the premises licence.
I strongly advise that all outside areas are checked regularly by staff, and it is very important to establish good relations with neighbours through regular contact to identify and resolve issues before they blow up into costly proceedings.
Licensing Law Specialist
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