Fears lead to a cut in pub’s hours

One of the oldest pubs in Fakenham has had its opening hours restricted, although the new manager has promised a return to the traditional family pub it once was.

North Norfolk District Council's licensing sub-committee discussed The Star, on Oak Street, yesterday, following complaints of noise and after a review application to restrict opening hours and the playing of music was made by Melissa Wilkes, who lives next door to the pub, which is owned by Admiral Taverns.

The pub closed on October 9 last year following an altercation which resulted in it being vandalised, but was refurbished and re-opened at the end of last year by new manager Janine Scott.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms Wilkes said she and other residents had endured 18 months of anti-social behaviour and drug-taking at the pub before Miss Scott took over.

She said: 'Disco-related noise could be heard until midnight and... the music was so loud, it caused our house to vibrate.

'This resulted in my children being frightened and woken up in the middle of the night.'

She said the situation had improved since Miss Scott had arrived, but with all that had happened she and other residents were still fearful the old problems may re-occur.

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Miss Scott said she wanted the pub to return to a traditional family place. She said: 'If anyone causes trouble, they will be excluded. I also have an incident book and am working with the police.'

The committee, however, decided to restrict the pub opening hours to 11am to 11pm weekdays, 11am to 11.30pm on Saturdays and from midday to 10.30pm on Sundays. Recorded music is permitted inside the premises, although the ability of 'making music' , that is events such as karaoke, was removed from the licence.

Conditions attached to the licence also included noise limiting devices being fitted in the pub.