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Petition over restriction on pub noise

Customers at a music venue in Frome have started a petition after Mendip District Council imposed a restriction on noise levels.

Regulars at the Griffin, in Milk Street, have collected more than 450 signatures protesting against the restrictions which were introduced after residents complained to the council about the noise level when bands are playing.

Gaz Hutchinson, who has been going to the pub for the last seven years, claims the council has imposed an 82 decibel limit, but this has not been confirmed by the pub or the council.

He said: “The Griffin is an established music venue in the town, but with the council’s restriction it limits the number of live bands. One band during the festival had to stop half way through their set because of it.

“The limit means that even a normal conversation will exceed it – it’s ridiculous.”

Mr Hutchinson, who plays with the band Slippery Fish, said the Griffin had done as much as it could to reduce noise levels, including installing double glazed windows, floor to ceiling curtains and heavy shutters.

Rik Lyall, who owns the pub and the Milk Street brewery, said there was little he could do.

He said: “I have to adhere to the restrictions on my licence because that is the law.”

A spokeswoman for the district council said that all licensed premises are under obligation to promote the licensing objectives.

She said: “Good working practice has been relayed to the Griffin by the environmental protection team at the council and we will continue to work with them to assist them in complying with the operating schedule and to promote the licensing objectives.”

Somerset Standard article


  • I’ve been playing gigs at this venue since 2003 with my group the Bad Detectives and there never seemed to be a problem until recently. It seems that one new resident has complained about the noise causing the environmental authorities to go right over the top. Due to the large amount of costly noise suppression installed by the landlord the noise from the pub can now be barely detected in the street. I know this because we were the band that were forced to stop in mid-set during the festival however friends of ours arriving late to the event said that they had to get through the doors to check that we were playing as the sound was inaudible in Milk St. This town is losing pubs at an alarming rate and one of the big attractions for punters at the Griffin is that it is a lively, vibrant music venue with no trouble and no need for teams of bouncers on the doors. As for people who move in to premises next to pubs and villiage halls without checking the nature of the premises – don’t even get me started on that – “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) should apply in all cases.
    Henry Hutton, Nightingale Avenue Frome
    commented on 16-Jul-2009 14:48
  • “promoting the licensing objectives” is all well and good as long as it is applied fairly across the board. It would appear that some can open all hours with little restriction on noise or behavioural problems whilst other establishments are constantly hammered.
    With the closure of so many premises perhaps Mendip ought to be a bit more concerned about local employment as well – if people buy/rent a house near a pub what do they expect?
    fromie, frome
    commented on 15-Jul-2009 12:32

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