'Noise equipment' seized by council from pub after string of complaints

A council seized “noise making” equipment from a pub at the centre of a string of noise complaints, and next week the business’s licence will be reviewed.

By Chirs Young - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 13th September 2019, 2:01 pm
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 3:01 pm
Bradford City Hall
Bradford City Hall

Bradford Council’s District Licensing Panel will meet on Tuesday to review the licence for the Wyke Rose pub on Huddersfield Road.

It comes after Environmental Health Officers, local Councillors and police raised a number of concerns, including loud music being played into the early hours of the morning and CCTV not operating at all times.

But the pub’s manager has claims the Council is acting “unfairly” and claims certain officers “want to close the pub down by any means possible.”

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Members of the panel have been handed letters from police and Council staff listing a number of incidents where the pub has broken its license.

After a series of complaints of music being played late into the night, Magistrates granted a warrant for the Council “to enter and seize noise making equipment at the Wyke Rose” in June.

One incident documented by police says “On 17 May a call was made to the Police by the premises manager to report that there had been an incident at the premises whereby someone had thrown a flammable substance at the window of the premises and caused damage. On the call to the Police the premises manager states that he does not believe that the CCTV system was currently working. Once officers had begun to investigate the offence, the premises manager explained that he switches the CCTV system off on an evening.”

The police letter goes on to say that officers visited the pub later that month, adding: “The premises manager admitted that he had been switching off the CCTV at night in order to save electricity and that it was currently broken and not recording at all.”

Members will also be told that there had been regular complaints from neighbouring residents that the pub plays loud music beyond 10pm – breaching its premise licence.

In March this year the pub advertised a fund raising party with a DJ from 10pm until closing time.

Licensing Enforcement Officer Timothy Brook has written to the panel saying: “The way in which the premises are being operated by the licence holders and management of the premises shows disregard for the requirements of the Licensing Act and the licensing objectives.

“Environmental Health and Licensing Enforcement Officers have taken a number of steps to try and resolve the issues at the Wyke Rose with no success.

“The Licensing Service supports the application for review of the licence and requests consideration is given to revocation of the licence, in order to prevent continued licence breaches and noise nuisance.”

And letter from West Yorkshire Police’s Licensing officer Tony Brown said: “The Licensing Act encourages Police Licensing and other responsible authorities to actively work with premises to resolve issues at premises, which we have tried to do.

“However, it is clear that the point has been reached where the only option available has been a review of the premises licence.

“Bradford District Police therefore support Bradford Council Environmental Health in their request to have the Premises Licence revoked.”

The manager of the pub, whose name has been redacted from the agenda available to the press and public, has written to the Council defending how the business is operated. In a letter that will be presented to the committee, they say: “I always work with West Yorkshire Police and they have always been supportive to me.

“It seems apparent to me the premise is being blamed for a lot of noise nuisance that is actually outside the premises.

“I understand from an historical manager of the Wyke Rose it is more than apparent in my opinion that certain representatives of the Council’s Environmental Health Team appear to want to close the public house down by any means possible.

“This is very unfair in my opinion.”

They say that since the music equipment was seized the business has suffered, and argue the warrant used to seize the equipment was “defective.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted the licence holders Clifton Properties Yorkshire, but was told no-one was available to comment on the licensing review.

The panel will meet in City Hall at 10am on Tuesday.