The Half Butt Inn staff ‘had enough’ as council bans outdoor music at Great Horkesley pub

Colchester Borough Council has banned the pub from playing music outside. Picture: Getty Images/iSto

Colchester Borough Council has banned the pub from playing music outside. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The manager of an Essex pub that has been banned from holding outdoor music events due to noise complaints has spoken of the “ongoing battle” staff have faced with neighbours and councillors.

Amanda Gross and her team have made the decision to leave The Half Butt Inn in Nayland Road, Great Horkesley, because they have “had enough”.

On October 20, Colchester Borough Council (CBC) amended the pub’s licence so it can no longer play amplified or non-amplified music in its garden, following repeated noise nuisance complaints from nearby residents since May this year.

The situation came to a head on August 26, when The Half Butt Inn held an outdoor event with live bands from 1pm – 10pm.

Environmental health officers from CBC visited the pub after more than 15 members of the public called to complain about the music.

A spokesman for CBC said: “The noise witnessed by officers was considered loud enough to be a statutory nuisance and the volume was not lowered at their request.”

On August 30, the licence holder was formally served a noise abatement notice and a review of the pub’s licence was also requested.

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Ms Gross said: “They have taken away our licence because neighbours complained, which makes it difficult to keep the pub going. It’s a shame because it’s a family-friendly pub.

“We had four outside events last year and they were all within the rules. They were finished on time or even early, but it’s been an ongoing battle with the council and the immediate neighbours.”

Ms Gross said staff had dealt with “endless” complaints not only about noise, but also parking, signage and the position of the garden play equipment.

The pub’s management team will quit in February after two years in charge.

“We can’t keep putting in 80/90 hours a week and they keep putting restrictions on the pub,” Ms Gross added.

Mike Lilley, portfolio holder for safer communities and licensing at CBC, said: “It is unfortunate that a review of this licence has been necessary. However, CBC is committed to ensuring a good quality of life for residents of the borough and, when a venue fails to uphold this and causes public nuisance, there can be serious consequences.”

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