Student pub to take action after noise complaints from neighbours

Neighbours claim noise reverberates around the rear of their homes like a ‘canyon’

A pub in Clifton has promised to install noise-barrier fences in its beer garden to protect neighbours’ peace from rowdy students after fed-up residents took it to a licence review hearing.

Bristol city councillors imposed tougher conditions on the Den and Terrace in St Pauls Road after householders told them sound reverberated around the rear of their homes like a “canyon”.

Some people have even sold up and moved away because of the disturbance, the licensing sub-committee on Thursday, August 4, was told.

The review was submitted by Clifton ward Green Cllr Tom Hathway but was led at the hearing by resident Paul Thompson, backed by others from the community.

It was brought on the grounds that the pub was undermining three of the four licensing objectives – the prevention of crime and disorder, public nuisance and upholding public safety.

Mr Thompson told the panel there was unacceptable noise during the day and that up until recently customers were using the outside terrace after the 9.30pm permitted cut-off when a maximum of only five smokers were allowed to be there under the previous conditions.

Bristol city councillors have imposed tougher conditions on the Den and Terrace in St Pauls Road

He said neighbours had recorded 23 breaches.

Mr Thompson said: “There is a noise canyon effect, so when there is noise from the Den and Terrace it bounces off the walls and echoes, and when it starts it sets in.”

He said residents did not want the pub shut but to co-exist with it, which was not possible as it was.

City council senior enforcement officer Steve Eyers said two warning letters – about noise complaints and people drinking on the terrace late at night – were sent to the pub earlier this year.

Both Mr Eyers and Avon & Somerset Police licensing officer Sarah Bellamy said pub management and staff were always cooperative and complied with requests.

Licensing solicitor Ewen Macgregor, representing premises licence holders Nix Bar Ltd, denied residents’ claims that the pub promoted itself as a “party venue” and for “raves”.

He said the problems with noise late in the evening had now been resolved by closing the terrace at 9.30pm, which Mr Thompson agreed was like “day and night” compared to before.

The panel imposed new conditions, most of which had been agreed by neighbours and the pub’s operators before and during the hearing, including ensuring the outside terrace was locked after 9.30pm and conducting hourly checks to police it.

The pub said an application for the fences would be submitted within a month.

Announcing the decision, sub-committee chairman Cllr Jonathan Hucker said they could not require a noise barrier to be installed because that had to go through the planning process but that they were encouraging this.

Mr Macgregor said an application for the fences would be submitted within a month.

Residents had asked for the beer garden to shut an hour earlier at 8.30pm on weekdays and for the capacity to be reduced but members decided the current conditions were restrictive enough.

Cllr Hucker said: “There is evidence of breaches of licensing conditions which has resulted in noise which undermines the licensing objectives.

“The sub-committee is disappointed that the premises have been operating in a manner that has resulted in this review being brought.”

Afterwards, Cllr Hathway said: “This is a positive result.

“I’m pleased that the Den and Terrace was willing to meet us part way and commit to putting up a physical barrier for the sound and that the sub-committee agreed with us that closing the terrace at 9.30pm is proportionate and reasonable.

“I’m sure residents will be looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep.”