Stop making that noise (or should you really?)

In her article for this month’s legal page for Pub & Bar magazine entitled “Stop making that noise (or should you really?)” – that can be downloaded below – Suzanne Davies hails the use of common sense in a recent court judgment quashing a noise abatement notice that had been imposed by Guildford Borough Council on The Star Inn, a Shepherd Neame pub where the Stranglers played their first gig.

In her article, Suzanne:

  • explains the judge’s reasoning that the playing of music within The Star Inn had not created noise nuisance before the conversion of the office building into flats, the pub has a useful and reasonable use, its activities are conducted in a lawful manner and it has only been the construction of the flats that has resulted in a noise nuisance complaint being made;
  • refers to the “agent of change” principle that became enshrined in the new National Planning Policy Framework last year, as reported by us here.

The judgment was originally reported in Pub & Bar on 2 July 2019 as follows:

The Star in Guildford saved after appeal

One of the south east’s oldest and best loved live music venues has been saved after a judge quashed a Noise Abatement Notice.
The future of the Star Inn, Guildford, which has been instrumental in the careers of thousands of bands and where the Stranglers played their first gig, was in doubt after Guildford Borough Council served the notice last year.
The Noise Abatement Notice was issued following complaints about noise from neighbouring flats, for which the council had granted planning permission despite warnings their proximity to a live music venue made them unsuitable for residential use.
Pub owners Shepherd Neame appealed against the notice and the appeal was upheld following a judgement delivered yesterday.
“This is excellent news – common sense has prevailed,” says Shepherd Neame property and services director George Barnes. “We would like to thank the many thousands of people who have supported our fight to save the Star as a live music venue and helped preserve a vital part of the cultural landscape of Guildford and the south east.”
Suzanne concludes her article with the following warning: “However, don’t relax completely. If your business gets served with a noise abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, take urgent advice, as failure to comply constitutes a criminal offence and you have only 21 days within which to appeal”.
If you find yourselves in this position, please contact us. We will be pleased to help.