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Statement on The Wheatsheaf, Bishop's Stortford

East Herts Council has been working closely with The Wheatsheaf public house for the last two years, providing advice on how best to offer music without creating noise problems that have resulted in numerous complaints over this period.

Earlier this year, following the council's advice and support, an agreeable approach was settled on - the Wheatsheaf started to operate a noise limiter, improved their noise insulation and agreed to keep windows closed to help prevent noise breaking out. This appeared to have solved the problem, with live music continuing at the pub in a way that minimised the risk of noise nuisance. The complaints stopped and we believed the matter had been resolved.

However in the last few weeks, the Wheatsheaf held an outdoor amplified music event. This led to new complaints which we had a duty to investigate. We contacted the pub's management to say there were new complaints as a result of this event and this was not in-keeping with the previously agreed approach. We had hoped this informal approach would resolve things, however, the Wheatsheaf then held another outdoor event the following weekend so we were duty bound to serve a notice. In the notice, we said that we believed there was a likelihood of statutory noise nuisance and we explained what the pub could do to avoid any future problems. We have invited the pub's management to discuss the notice with us and we are very happy to continue to provide advice and assistance. The next step is for the pub to take reasonable measures to deal with the noise levels, otherwise there is a risk of further action being taken.

We have not asked the pub to close, the notice does not say this. We would simply like to see that when the pub provides its popular music events, it keeps to the noise reduction measures it agreed earlier this year. In our experience, we have found that providing advice and issuing a notice clearly setting out what is expected, helps the business owner to better understand the issues and take the right measures to deal with them quickly.

We support both businesses and residents in our district and we feel confident that we can find a resolution which will ensure the Wheatsheaf pub can thrive, without unnecessarily disturbing residents.