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Chippenham fest - noise complaint

GUEST,The Shambles 03 Sep 11 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,camper 03 Sep 11 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 03 Sep 11 - 10:08 AM
Silas 03 Sep 11 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 03 Sep 11 - 10:25 AM
Silas 03 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 03 Sep 11 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,oggie 03 Sep 11 - 12:32 PM
treewind 04 Sep 11 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 04 Sep 11 - 10:37 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM
Paul Davenport 04 Sep 11 - 11:28 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 04 Sep 11 - 11:48 AM
the lemonade lady 04 Sep 11 - 01:42 PM
treewind 04 Sep 11 - 01:51 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Sep 11 - 01:57 PM
Paul Davenport 04 Sep 11 - 02:25 PM
Howard Jones 04 Sep 11 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,addison 04 Sep 11 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 05 Sep 11 - 04:32 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Sep 11 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,oggie 05 Sep 11 - 09:39 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 05 Sep 11 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 05 Sep 11 - 09:04 PM
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Subject: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 09:28 AM

http://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=16578

Pubs putting on live music run one hell of a risk. ONE complaint about the Chippenham Folk Festival leads to the Black Horse facing a premises licence review.

John King comments:
Even though the Licensing Sub-Committee ruled that there has been 'no substantiated complaints of noise nuisance', conditions have been added to the premises licence forcing the venue to submit to a noise management plan before future events. And we know what those are like...


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,camper
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 09:54 AM

On the sunday evening near midnight going from the Old Road Tavern back to the campsite I passed near the Black Horse on the opposite side of the road. There was a very loud band playing in the yard, but the music was rock rather than folk.
Possibly the complaint is based on fear that the pub will be regularly putting on loud bands, not an objection to the folk festival events - the midday ceilidh in the yard was a lot quieter than what was on in the evening


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:08 AM

The worry here is that one noise complaint was enough to cause the review of the licence and that even when the Committee found that there was 'no substantiated complaints of noise nuisance', - action was taken for all future activities, including the festival events, as if the complaint which caused the review was judged to be substantiated.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Silas
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:13 AM

Well, if the pub is putting a loud rock band on at midnight on a sunday, when it is supposed to be a folk festyival, then I say GOOD. Lets have a review of its licence.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:25 AM

Sadly - the law makes no distinction between folk music and rock music. If conditions are placed on Regulated Entertainment these will apply to both forms of music and if the permission is withdrawn completely - there will be one more venue not available for the Festival weekend.

No licence = no folk music.

It perhaps should be recognised that The Black Horse and all other pubs used for all folk fesival events do need to make a living on all the other nights when folk festivals are not being held.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Silas
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM

Well, they should have a bit of common sense then. Midnight on a Sunday - I think even I wiould complain about loud rock music.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 12:06 PM

Perhaps you should actually read the link provided - before you pass judgement?

That the premises had compromised on live music hours on 2 of 3 nights, finishing by 11:30 pm rather than the permitted 12.30 am, to reduce nuisance to neighbours;


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 12:32 PM

I live next door to a pub (well it wasn't one when we moved in) and you get a totally different perspective on noise when you've got the windows shut on hot summer's evening, it's gone eleven, you have to be up at five the next morning (not everyone works Mon-Fri) and you can write down the set list of the group playing!

Been there, done that and sent a copy of the set list to Environmental Health!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: treewind
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 06:58 AM

"the law makes no distinction between folk music and rock music"

It would be nice it it made a distinction between loud music and not-so-loud music. Noise complaints are generally about volume of sound, not musical styles.

I think I heard that band. I hope nobody thought it had anything to do with the folk festival...


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 10:37 AM

The only current distinction between amplified and non-amplified live music is that which is contained in the (tacked-on) exemption for non-amplified music, for a performance of Morris dancing.

All amplified music for Morris does require Premises Licence permission for Regulated Entertainment.

The loud music -v- not loud music debate is a little bit of a red-herring.

The point is that as you cannot ask for and the local Licensing Authority cannot grant permission to make any form of noise pollution - the use of additional entertainment licensing as a means to combat noise - can only confuse an already confused situation.

The irony is that most of the support for the additional entertainment licensing contained in the Licensing Act 2003 is because people mistakenly think it is a measure to combat noise pollution and that the removal of additional entertainment licensing will leave the public unprotected.

It is pretty obvious from the many exemptions already contained in the Licensing Act 2003, that this is nonsense. Parliament has accepted that the other existing legislation is perfectly adequate to deal with any noise pollution issues which may arise from activities which they have already made exempt from additional entertainment licensing.

The Environmental Protection Act is the correct legislation for noise as it already deals with noise pollution emanating from all sources.

Despite all this - we will soon have a situation where any form of live music is considered to present an automatic noise concern at 11 pm and cannot continue passed this curfew time without additional entertainment licensing, even when the venues have permission to serve alcohol until the early hours of the morning.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM

Parliament may have so accepted, but it is tosh.

All amplified music, no matter the genre, is likely to be a bloody nuisance (as distinct from a legal nuisance) for neighbours, and usually to get anything done under (for example) the EPA requires keeping logs of occurrences. By way of contrast, all or almost all unamplified music (face it, troupes of marauding Japanese drummers or legions of players of the great pipes are, statistically, uncommon) is highly UNLIKELY to be a bloody nuisance to neghbours.

What should be unregulated under the Licensing Act is unamplified music and instruments played at the same volume as unamplified music.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 11:28 AM

Trouble is, there's a growing trend in folk music to use amplicifation even in the smallest venues. At Whitby, I heard a three piece band in a pub room smaller than my bedroom playing with amps. Trouble was, I was walking past on the other side of the street! I don't get it.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 11:48 AM

If complaints are made as to excessive sound (noise to some!) levels I would say GOOD.

We need more complaints especially about excessive sound levels at dance and ceilidh venues where the music is so loud that even young dancers complain and routinely use earplugs - which compromises the sound quality. I suffered all of some ceilidhs at Towersey using earplugs - the dancing was good and not to be missed but the event could have been so much more enjoyable for the majority of dancers if the sound had simply been turned down. Folk festival organisers take note!


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 01:42 PM

I agree. Small rooms don't need amplifiers. Why do small pubs have open mics? Why not just an open stage?


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: treewind
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 01:51 PM

The need for amplification is not dictated by room size. An unamplified solo violin can be heard in the Royal Albert Hall if the audience are listening. The problem is background noise.

What's sad is that hardly anybody actually listens to music any more. The iPod generation (and the walkman and boombox generation before it, and pub jukeboxes before that) have got used to music (for some definition of the term) as a background to everything they do, and when there's live music going on they treat it background just the same and talk and shout at each other.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 01:57 PM

Yes, but turn the amps up and they shout louder. I've seen a 1KW rig used in a little pub in Tenterden, and the band could not hear themselves over Henry and Harriet braying their mating calls. Meanwhile the people who lived out the back no doubt needed earplugs and laudanum to get to sleep.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 02:25 PM

It's an interesting experience to shun the PA and sing acoustically at a gig. What happens is pretty counter-intuitive. Basically, people shut up and listen.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Howard Jones
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 02:53 PM

What I find disappointing is that this was a one-off, arising during an annual event. The Licensing Committee report makes it clear this had only arisen during the folk festival, was the only complaint, and that the pub has traded for 21 years without attracting any other complaints.

I can understand if you live within earshot of a venue which is frequently putting on loud music late at night then it can become unbearable. However there is such a thing as live and let live. There are any number of things which many people take pleasure from which have the capacity to annoy others apart from live music - village fetes, football matches, armistice day parades, weddings, birthday parties, to name but a few. Most of us probably take part in them from time to time, as well as being inconvenienced from time to time. When it is a one-off occurrance we should all be more tolerant, and expect tolerance in return for our own activities.

I don't expect everyone to like folk music or be happy when their town is taken over by a large influx of visitors, but surely it's not too much to ask people to put up with it once a year, especially when it makes an important economic contribution. It's not as if they don't get advance warning.

It's a pity the Licensing Committee did not take a more robust approach and tell the complainant that for just one weekend in 52 they should put up with it.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,addison
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 06:57 PM

I have no vested interest in Chippenham and wasn't at this year's festival.
what I found a little strange was that ...
a. neither the landlord/manager of the pub, nor anyone from the festival attended the licensing committee hearing.
b. the online programme for the festival does not mention a folk festival event in the evening in that particular pub.
c. nevertheless, everyone seemed to accept that the event that was noisy was part of the folk festival (whereas all the evidence is that it wasn't). No doubt the landlord used the marquee in the garden facility to put a non-folk band in there (or else it was an informal festival session).


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 04:32 AM

That noise pollution is a problem, is not in question.

The question is if the Environmental Protection Act is effective in protecting the public from noise pollution, from wherever it emanates and from all sources?

If it is not thought effective, then it is this legislation which needs attention and adjustment to ensure that it is.

Currently, addtional entertainment licensing is resulting in so much live music being either lost completely or needless limited, because of noise concerns (often before a note has been sounded) when the music in question will never cause anyone to complain about any actual noise emanating.

There is no way that additional entertainment licensing can deal with this issue, for it remains a fact that some non-amplfied music could be a source of noise pollution.

Tho only sensible way to deal with this problem is to free all live music from the outdated and expensive duplication of additional entertainment licensing and to deal with any resulting noise issues, when or if they occur.

For in the vast majority of cases, they are no noise concerns associated with the actual live music itself. However, the process involved in additional entertainment licensing, enables those who simply do not want to put up with the normal activities associated with pubs etc, (but who do not want to move away) to make problems for live music.

Currently all noise and live music is subject to the same noise controls under the Environmental Protection Act - whether it has additional entertainment permission in place or not.

So in what what way can additional entertainment licensing (which can only concern itself with entertainment) be effective in protecting the public against noise pollution?

The simple answer is that it cannot and the pretence that it can is causing real harm to cultural activities that we should be appreciating and protecting. Currently we are simply strangling it in needless red-tape and with what is proposed - to continue to do this.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 05:08 AM

No. The controls under the EPA are different and only retrospective. The solution is very very simple. Amplified music should be regulated entertainment. Unamplified music (&, as I explained above) shouldn't.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 09:39 AM

@ The Shambles

Is there any reason why I should have to move house to get away from a pub which plays loud music late at night as this seems to be what you are implying?

In fact the pub next door is an interesting study. The last manager actually took relations with the neighbours seriously and did tell groups to turn down their PAs. He also made a point of stopping at eleven at night. The result was that every so often we didn't complain about noise if it ran on a bit late or was a bit loud.

Part of the problem (certainly round here) is that every shop property that comes up is being converted into cafe/bars or pubs and as they start competing to stay afloat then late night music etc is one of the weapons in their armoury (planning permission is almost invariably granted even when residents object).

Is there actually any evidence that the EPA is harming cultural activities or is it the licensing regime that's the problem>

Steve


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM

The Licensing Act is the bureaucratic nightmare not least since every council jobsworth wants a finger in the pie. For unamplified music this is not necessary. For amplified music it is necessary.

Simples.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 08:37 PM

The answer is even more blindingly simple than trying to get accepted, an unworkable distinction in additional entertainment licensing, between amplified and non-amplified live music. If the legislation to deal with noise pollution does not work - you change it so that it is fit for its intended purpose.

Noise pollution is actually measurable but you do have to wait for a note of live music to be played before it can be measured and sensible plans to deal with it can be made.

You can see why it might be thought better to deal with it before a note is played but to insist on actual controls to deal with what at this stage can only be a potential problem - is to needlessly limit or prevent non-amplified or even lightly amplified live music, which will never cause any form of noise pollution.

If it is generally accepted (even by those who support additional entertainment licensing permission in advance) that NOT all live music does in fact present noise pollution - for them to support legislation and local enforcement of it, which works on the basis that all live music IS noise pollution, is not logical or proportionate. For this is accepting that preventing and limiting in advance live music which is not noise pollution is a price to be paid which is acceptable.

This 'scatter-gun' approach to legislation which accepts so much needless damage to cutural activities is not acceptable to me.

The problem (for live music and for non-amplified live music) is that environmental officers have preferred to use additional entertainment licensing, rather than the EPA. Mainly because it is less work for them to drop in to licensing hearings and ensure that the licensing section does all the resulting paper work.

Those more comfortable with issuing licenses for street-traders and local taxis may not be the best people to be left to find ways to encourage cultural activities. We should not perhaps be too surprised if they do not seem manage this.

Additional entertainment licensing can be safely scrapped and those currently employed in this, can return to issuing licenses to street-traders and taxis.

And those who do not wish to live close to pubs and other venues can find genuine reasons for their objections, which does not risk preventing or limiting all forms of live music in advance.


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Subject: RE: Chippenham fest - noise complaint
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 09:04 PM

Is there any reason why I should have to move house to get away from a pub which plays loud music late at night as this seems to be what you are implying?

I was not implying that at all. Residents should not be subject to any form of actual noise pollution. However they should not be allowed to use objections about potential noise pollution from live music (often when this has not yet occurred) to further their general concerns about and to limit the normal activities of pubs and other venues.

The Licensing Act 2003 is the worst example of bad legislation but if anything provided evidence of the mess that the combination of alcohol and entertainment in one licence is creating under local interpretations and current set-ups, it was the two recent applications which I attended (the first case as an observer only).
http://media.weymouth.gov.uk/docstore/demdocs/lic_committee/LIC-R-20110811.pdf

The first case was a variation to add live music (up to midnight) to the existing permission for recorded music (up to 02.00). The variation received a hearing because there was one objection from the public. As it turned out - the objector was under the impression that the variation for live music was up to 02.00 and had no objection to the earlier curfew time of midnight as specified in the variation.

So on this count alone, there was in fact no need for this hearing. But when the applicants informed the committee of the type of live music that they hoped to have - it was clear that they really had no need to expose themselves to objections by making the variation for Regulated Entertainment. The exemption for a performance of incidental live music would have easily fitted in the qualification set out in the LACORS advice which was issued in September 2009.

But even at the point when the single objector was happy with the application - the committee insisted on imposing an additional condition which required that all windows be shut during the live music. This condition not presumably required or applicable for the existing recorded music.

If this was a recommendation of the Environmental Dept for the variation, (it may have been written one) I did not hear it discussed and their was no officer present at this point, for the case for this objection to be made verbally. The venue seemed to have lost an existing condition requiring CCTV but gained one for the installation of a noise limiter.

There was no question during the hearing about the fact that alcohol was to be served until 02.00 or on what grounds, any form of live music was considered to present more concern to the licensing objectives than recorded music, requiring this to finish 2hrs earlier and additionally for the windows to be closed.

It is difficult to see any positives in the part that Environmental Officers play in licensing hearings. In this case, there did not seem to be anyone objecting to the existing recorded music and any open windows (other than presumably the Environmental Health dept).

Action could have been taken by them at any point in the past to address this concern, but this variation simply presented an opportunity - which the Environmental Health dept seemingly jumped at - to place a binding licensing condition for an intervention made on behalf only of themselves. An example of the confusion caused by the duplication of many environmental and planning issues into what are supposed to be licensing only hearings.
--------------------------------------------------
http://media.weymouth.gov.uk/docstore/demdocs/lic_committee/LIC-R3B-20110811.pdf
The situation was even more confusing for the second case, for which an Environmental Health officer did attend and had presumably made some form of objection. He totally confused a licensing hearing by insisting on talking about a proposed temporary marquee, which he admitted was not relevant to this hearing and would need to be subject to a future planning meeting. He stated that he would consider the noise of people drinking and dining in this marquee to be noise pollution and that his dept would object to this.

None of this was actually relevant to a licensing hearing, especially as the marquee was not yet in place and no event had taken place in it, but this contribution made at this hearing did manage to confuse many at this hearing, especially the objectors. However it does fit in with the current practice of these hearings imposing real conditions in advance on activities that remain untested and which at this stage, can only provide hypothetical concerns and potential issues.

In the face of the opposition, the applicants decided to restrict their application's curfew time for inside live music from 02.00 to midnight and any outside live music to a sundown finish. The Licensing Manager said (without any apparent consultation with the Committee) that the sundown finish would not be acceptable and that they would need a set time. This was later set by the sub-committee to 20.00 (8pm). Once again, there was no question during the hearing about the fact that alcohol was to be served until 02.00.

And although mention was made of parking and the noise of people leaving, the only restrictions placed as a result of the hearing was to the application for live music. I suspect that had the applicants not themselves volunteered the further restrictions on the live music, that this would have been the outcome in any case.

At one point, when the applicants were explaining that the dancing and live music would be inside the castle and that the outside live music would be limited to that being played during the wedding ceremony itself, I was amazed to hear the Licensing Manager answering that the latter would qualify as incidental and not require permission for Regulated Entertainment.

What does or what does not qualify locally for this exemption still resides only in the head of the Licensing Manager but had her view been made clear previously by the Licensing Manager, it could have avoided the whole expensive process. I was surprised that it appeared to be the first time that the applicants had heard of this exemption. If the Committee members had heard of it, they made no comment and seemed content for the details of its local qualifying requirements to remain in the Licensing Manager's head.

The last minute concessions made by the applicants made a bit of a nonsense of my representation, which was stated on the agenda to be in support of the application but was certainly in favour of the originally requested times. This support was really only conditional on there being no further restrictions placed on the live music and stated that if there were any further restrictions, for these also applied to the serving of alcohol.

This was obviously, if not altogether surprisingly, ignored. My submission contained a request to the full committee to conduct a review on the indications of the deterrent effect of the so-called local licensing requirements on cultural activities like the sessions at the Cove House Inn and the New Star Inn. The Chairman did say that the "committee' would be writing to me on this.

My ward Councillor was largely responsible here for stirring up his fellow local residents and at one point he stated that "all music was noise" and then went on to say that he would welcome a string quartet. In conclusion, we have a situation where the public and to some extent Environmental Health, who have concerns unconnected to the provision of live music are using objections to this to obtain licensing hearings and these hearings are prepared to further limit or prevent live music for no good reason other than to appear to these objectors, to be doing something.

In reality, this process satisfies no party and the affect of all this on live music and related cultural activities could not be much worse in countries which unlike this country, do not bother to even pay 'lip-service' to supporting culture and free expression.

These hearings cannot grant licensing permission to create noise pollution so why are hearings accepting objections as being relevant when these are based only on attempts to prevent the applicants from creating noise pollution and as a result, giving Environmental Officers the opportunity, at these hearings, to recommend any condition they may choose to and often before a note has been sounded?

Perhaps we should not expect much when our Parliament has placed the future of all of our cultural activities into the hands of those who mainly deal with the licensing of street-trading and taxis?


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