08:00 31 March 2022
A popular concert hall in St Albans is in danger of closing following noise complaints from neighbors.
London Road’s Farmer’s Boy have been promoting live music for 14 years, with concerts in their beer garden every Saturday afternoon between 2.30pm and 5pm.
But they have now been handed a noise abatement order which threatens continued performance and jeopardizes the very future of the pub.
Owner Ros Kintu said they have always strived to balance the rights of residents not to experience excessive noise pollution and the rights of local businesses to a smooth supply.
They have taken various measures to limit disruption, including ensuring the performance faces London Road, ensuring there is a rest day after any event, concluding the live concerts at 6 p.m. and managing group sound levels.
Following persistent complaints from a neighbour, they invested £2000 in acoustic duvets to limit levels and encourage bands to bring smaller amps, for drummers to use brushes and monitored noise levels at proximity to the plaintiff’s home.
“So I was absolutely amazed to find that the SADC served us with a noise reduction notice. If successful, it will mean the end of live music at Farmer’s Boy and, as a cornerstone of our business, put our future in jeopardy.
“With hospitality suffering greatly since the lockdown, we, like many other pubs, are struggling to keep our heads above water. Without our Saturday afternoon music in the garden, it seems unlikely that we would survive for a very long time. We put our hearts and souls into The Farmer’s Boy, and have many very loyal music fans as customers for whom we are very grateful.
“The current situation is particularly surprising as St Albans Council portrays itself as still supporting and promoting the town’s musical heritage and, ironically, several outdoor music events are planned for this summer.”
A SADC spokesperson said: “In this instance, we have received complaints from several residents of excessive noise from amplified music played outside.
“Our investigations confirmed that noise could be heard in a property with the windows closed and was audible despite the presence of a switched on television.
“We have had discussions about the issue with the pub in question and have suggested measures to reduce noise.
“Unfortunately the noise remained at a level that could be considered a legal nuisance.
“We therefore had a legal obligation to serve a noise reduction notice on the company requiring them to reduce the noise to an acceptable level. Our agents continue to work with the pub and the community to help them achieve this.”