Published: 16 October 2014
Q: My company has recently acquired a pub that had a substantial live entertainment offer. We are a food-led operation with only background music played. However, I have recently discovered that there is a Noise Abatement Notice issued by the Environmental Health Officer in respect of the premises. Clearly, this is nothing to do with us and we are at no risk of causing noise to the local community by virtue of our food-led operation. Is there anything I can do to remove this Notice, or is it valid at all?
A: Firstly, it is always important to carry out pre-acquisition licensing due diligence. Speak with the Police, Licensing and the Environmental Health Officer before any financial or contractual commitment to acquire a licensed premises is made. However, whilst there may be a Noise Abatement Notice in respect of the premises it will have been issued against the previous licensee (either as a company or an individual or even both) who I assume no longer has anything to do with the premises. You cannot be prosecuted for breaching a Notice that was not issued against you and/or your company and to that extent the Notice no longer applies. Notwithstanding the above, its existence has revealed an issue with previous noise and whilst you may not consider your operation will cause noise problems, I would suggest you contact the Environmental Health Officer to find out more. There may be some long-suffering local residents who are more sensitive to any noise (even the clink of cutlery on your terrace) due to those previous problems
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