Call for music ban to end neighbour's night-noise misery
A FRUSTRATED student who claims she is struggling to study because of "noise and rowdiness" at a nearby pub, has called for its music licence to be revoked.
But the owners of the Maiden's Head in Wincheap said removing music from their entertainment schedule would "sound the death knell" for the venue.
Virginia Lloyd Owen, 60, moved to Canterbury in May 2010 after being accepted onto a creative writing course at the University of Kent.
And she claims that from the first day she arrived she encountered problems with the pub, which holds regular live music and karaoke nights.
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She said: "I lived in London for many years, and never experienced problems like this.
"I chose Canterbury because I wanted a quiet life, but I find it impossible to study due to noise from the pub."
Miss Lloyd Owen first called for a review of the licence in September 2010, and licensing bosses imposed conditions to prevent outdoor entertainment and control noise levels at the historic pub.
She then called for a second review, claiming the licence holders were flouting the new rules.
Speaking at the licensing meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday, she said: "Since the review 18 months ago, I believe there has been no progress at all with regard to the disturbances we suffer.
"I am constantly aware of outside drinkers, way after 9.30pm. We cannot sit in our gardens in the summer because the music drowns out our conversation.
"It's not a local pub – it's a music venue. It's a place where dancing and music happens a lot. There is no thought for the neighbours at all."
Along with the noise nuisance, Miss Lloyd Owen also highlighted the amount of litter left behind by revellers, and criticised the apparent lack of support from police and other authorities.
She called for the music licence to be rescinded until adequate soundproofing had been installed.
Speaking on behalf of leaseholders Enterprise Inns, solicitor Claire Johnson admitted that the terms of the reviewed licence had been broken, including issues concerning soundproofing and issuing a phone number for neighbours to raise concerns about noise.
But she said new licensees had taken over the pub three weeks ago, and had so far been fully compliant with the rules.
She also drew attention to the fact that only three residents had ever written to complain about the pub.
She said: "We believe the decision at the last licence review was perfect, if adhered to properly. I'm very hopeful that the current tenants are adhering to the conditions. It would appear that since they arrived three weeks ago, they are holding music events responsibly.
"Taking away the music licence would probably be the death knell for this premises."
Wendy Beharry, who took over the pub with her partner Ralph Latchana last month, said she hoped to attract a diverse range of customers with a variety of entertainment alongside live bands and karaoke.
The licensing panel recommended that the pub, neighbours and the council's Environmental Health Officer meet to discuss soundproofing and noise issues.
The meeting was adjourned until June 19, when the committee will make its final decision about the licence.