‘Noise nuisance’ hotel is is muted after complaints
TORBAY Council has taken action against a Devon hotel after a summer of complaints from village neighbours about noise from outdoor film shows and live music.
Councillors decided that events at Churston Manor, at Churston Ferrers, near Brixham, were having a damaging effect on residents living nearby.
Torbay Council’s licensing sub-committee decided to remove the hotel’s exemption under the Live Music Act 2012, which allowed amplified music between 8am and 11pm as long as there were no more than 200 people in the audience.
Councillors held a hearing to review the premises licence after an application from Helen Glazebrook, who lives in the village, on the grounds the hotel was causing a “public nuisance”.
Her application said during the summer there had been regular performances of live and recorded music and film shows in the hotel’s grounds at high volume.
A statement with the application, which was received by the council on August 30, said: “The staging of these events are in the garden of an historic building, with the stage and amplified music directed towards residential properties.
“There has been no thought or consultation with the local residents regarding the staging of any of the outdoor events which are causing a huge amount of disturbance both to properties in the immediate locality, and even being very loudly audible in more distant properties.”
It claimed local residents had asked verbally and in writing for the hotel to reduce the volume, but the requests were dismissed or ignored. The statement listed 11 events in July and Au-
Churston Manor hotel has had the term of its live music licence changed gust at the hotel with live music or film screenings outdoors.
The sub-committee found the residents had told the hotel about the problems, but no improvement measures had been put in place before staging further events, which was “wholly irresponsible”.
The designated premises licence holder had held more events despite the threat of a noise abatement notice “in complete disregard of its nearby residents”, and later admitted “that they had got things wrong”.
The sub-committee hearing on October 25 was played sound clips said to have been taken from neighbours homes and gardens. Members decided they provided “unequivocal evidence that the premises’ activities were undermining ‘the prevention of public nuisance’ licensing objective and in turn, were preventing residents’ reasonable and peaceful enjoyment of their homes.”
And they also decided the licence holder’s denial that the sound clips were from events at the hotel showed “a complete disregard to the integrity and suffering of those residents who had complained”.
The hotel’s premises supervisor Jonathan Smith, one of the directors, told neighbours in a letter the hotel had been staging live events to help raise income to secure the historic building and 35 jobs. He apologised for any inconvenience caused to villagers during the summer and said they would be invited to a meeting to hear about measures proposed by audio consultants to avoid future noise nuisance.