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Noise Abatement Notice and Review of Premises Licence

Sounding out noise notices

Q:  I have run a pub in a city centre for a number of years without issues.  In the last few months the Council’s Environmental Health Team have advised me that they have received complaints from local residents.  They have now served a Noise Abatement Notice.  At the same time the local residents and Environmental Health Officer are threatening to Review my premises licence!  Is it right that they can do both as this seems very unfair?

A:  Unfortunately, the fact that you have been served with a Noise Abatement Notice does not protect you from the threat of Review.  These are simply two forms of enforcement which are possible in respect of noise issues surrounding licensed premises.  I do not know when the Noise Abatement Notice was served but it is important to realise that you only have 21 days to Appeal that notice otherwise it remains in force indefinitely with the constant threat of prosecution for breach of the notice should there be further witnessed problems of nuisance. 

The advantage of appealing a notice is that it might buy you some time in terms of reducing the likelihood of any prosecution for breach whilst the Appeal is pending.  Whether you do or do not decide to appeal it is imperative that you engage positively with the local residents, perhaps through the Environmental Health Officer, and try to arrange a meeting and agree an action plan to prevent further nuisance.  This will reduce the risk of prosecution under the notice or at the very least provide substantial mitigation in the event that a prosecution follows nonetheless.  It should also substantially reduce the risk of Review proceedings being started.

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