Noise fears hit pub licence bid

A row has blown up over a Broads pub's application to change its licence. The owners of the Locks Inn at Geldeston, near Beccles, want to remove the condition saying that amplified music outside must be controlled by a noise limiter.

A row has blown up over a Broads pub's application to change its licence.

The owners of the Locks Inn at Geldeston, near Beccles, want to remove the condition saying that amplified music outside must be controlled by a noise limiter.

Lee Bellis and Tim Dunford say they only want to play music for a few hours on Sunday afternoons, and that they will regulate the noise by listening to it and turning it down if needs-be.

They have tried to comply with their licence by looking for outdoor noise limiters but have found nothing suitable.

But some people in the village fear that it will lead to loud, late-night music. The licence application has led to posters being put up around the village asking: "Do you want to hear the throb of outside amplified music while you and your family lay in your beds? Do you want birdsong drowned out of hearing?" The poster says that the pub has applied for an outside licence for unrestricted amplified music and asks people to make objections to the council.

Meanwhile, some former regulars have even been banned from the pub after objecting to the pub's licence application.

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Joseph Langran and Margaret Rose, of Station Road, have written to the council's licensing team saying that they were shocked to be "publicly barred" after objecting last year to a late-night extension to the licence, even though they described themselves as loyal regulars. Their letter says: "We are inclined to be less tolerant of disturbance from a public house that we are unable to use."

Miss Bellis, who owns the pub together with Mr Dunford, said: "She [Ms Rose] was complaining over the licence although she had been here on numerous occasions and had fun with us, and that was what annoyed us. People who object to people's livelihoods are not going to be welcome. That is not unusual."

She added: "We don't want to upset anybody. We are here to make everyone welcome. We feel there is quite a bit of scaremongering gone on.

"They are scaring the old people who remember it from 10 years ago when there were raves down here.

"We are not after big rock bands, we are asking for a few hours of music on a Sunday afternoon. I could have a big brass band in or a samba band without changing the licence, but I don't want to upset people."

There have been 15 letters opposing a change to the licence and three supporting it. The council's own environmental services department has said that it would be difficult to use a noise limiter outside, and that there is nowhere else in the district where one has been proven to be successful.

A decision will be made by South Norfolk Council's licensing committee on Monday.