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Pub forced to scrap live music after noise complaints

Jacqui and Jimmy Gillies, of The Grey Horse, Penshaw, who have been served a noice abatement notice for having live bands on at the pub.

Jacqui and Jimmy Gillies, of The Grey Horse, Penshaw, who have been served a noice abatement notice for having live bands on at the pub.

PUB bosses said they have been left devastated after the plug was pulled on their music nights.

Sunderland City Council ordered Jacqui and Jimmy Gillies to turn down the noise from their pub – the Grey Horse, in Old Penshaw – after complaints from neighbours.

The order does not stop bands from playing, but does mean they cannot disturb residents with any “excessive noise.”

But Jacqui and Jimmy, who took over the spot three years ago, say they are no longer putting on the nights rather than risk breaking the order and incurring a fine of up to £20,000.

Jacqui, who said the fortnightly music nights brought in about £1,500, said: “This doesn’t just affect us and our revenue, it severely affects the number of staff we can employ.”

Jacqui also criticised the complainants for not discussing it with the couple first.

She added: “They don’t realise what they are doing here. The pub trade is dying on its feet. This place was well-known for antisocial behaviour and we’ve worked really hard to improve the pub.  

“We’ve organised carol services and put up a Christmas tree outside. We ask people to keep the noise down when they leave.

“The villagers have been fantastic, and then someone goes and does this to us.

“Nobody has ever come to us to complain. People around here will say ‘good morning’ and ‘the pub looks lovely’, so we just can’t understand it and we are so disappointed.”

Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services, said: “When we receive complaints about noise from a commercial premises we seek to advise the business of the steps that they can take to avoid disturbing their neighbours. However, if our advice does not result in an improvement in the situation, we must serve an abatement notice on the premises causing the nuisance, requesting that the nuisance is stopped.

“Unfortunately, we have received a number of complaints, from different people, over a protracted period of time, relating to excessive amplified music emanating from the Grey Horse.

“We have reached a stage where, with the aim of protecting the quality of life of local residents, it was necessary to serve an abatement notice. This notice does not prevent bands playing at the premises but does require that excessive noise does not disturb local residents.

“We are happy to continue to work with the business to assist them in providing entertainment in a way that does not impact upon their neighbours.”

 

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