UK pub’s breach of noise order results in 00 fine

April 2005

Live Music Industry

Noise from a UK public house which was so loud that a shelf in a nearby home was “clearly vibrating” has resulted in a 00 fine for the licensee. Mid Suffolk District Council area environmental health officers visited a home in Debenham at around 9pm on August 10, 2003, after receiving a complaint about the level of noise from the Cherry Tree pub, where music was being played. There had been previous complaints about noise from the pub and a noise abatement order had been issued in October 2003. The Environmental Health Officer, Eric Foxton, told the court that in his opinion “the level of noise was a nuisance and it was taking away from that family the ability to enjoy their property.” Magistrates decided there had been a breach of a noise abatement notice, and fined licensee Zoe Hearn 00 and ordered her to pay prosecution costs of 48 in her absence after hearing evidence from Mr Foxton and householder John Bridges. Mr Foxton told the court that he set up noise monitoring equipment in Mr Bridges’ garden during an event at the pub in August 2002. Over two five-minute periods he found the noise reached up to 81 decibels and measured around 60 decibels as a continuous sound pressure level. This roughly equated to the noise of passing traffic when standing by the roadside, he said. Noise came from bands and discos and the court heard that doors and windows were left open causing noise problems. The council wrote to Ms Hearn on various occasions reminding her the notice was in place.

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