Pub has licence revoked by panel after loud noise complaints

A PUB in Wyke had its licence revoked after a panel of councillors were told of numerous instances where loud music way played until the early hours of the morning.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 2:56 pm
The Wyke Rose, Huddersfield Road, Wyke
The Wyke Rose, Huddersfield Road, Wyke

The Wyke Rose was subject to a licensing review, and despite pleas from the licensees and the pub’s manager, members of the Bradford District Licensing Panel decided to revoke the licence.

They said the business had breached its licence on numerous occasions, and they did not have faith that the management would turn things around.

When asked to rate how bad the pub’s breaches were on a scale of 1 to 10, an environmental health officer told members she would rate it 10.

The review had been brought after numerous reports from people living near the pub that there had been music played after 10pm.

The pub’s licence means music has to stop at 10pm – although the pub can remain open until midnight.

The panel, meeting in City Hall, was told that Environmental Health had been contacted a number of times about music being played into the early morning.

And police had also written to the panel raising concerns about the pub, claiming that on one occasion when police asked staff to see CCTV they were told cameras were switched off at night.

In 2012 the pub was temporarily closed after a number of noise complaints.

The meeting heard that although the situation improved under new management since then, complaints of late night noise starting last Spring. This included music being played as late as 3am and the pub regularly holding ‘lock ins.’

Environmental Health Officer Jeanette Howarth said: “The complainant said the noise was so loud they couldn’t hear their TV.”

She said on one visit to the pub, manager Daniel York was asked when the business was allowed to play music until, and he incorrectly said 1am.

Community protection warnings were issues to those involved in running the pub, including licensees Clifton Properties and the Designated Premises Supervisor Jackie Kitson.

By February the Council started receiving complaints of loud noise again.

And one resident pointed out to officers that the pub was advertising a fundraising night on March 9 where a DJ would be playing from “10pm till closing.”

In June officers were granted a warrant to seize noise making equipment from the business, and on June 22 four large TVs and 19 speakers were seized.

Miss Howarth said complaints continued, despite the seizure, with reports of music being played until 3am on some occasions.

On one instance when she visited a complainant’s house Miss Howarth could clearly hear a rap song being played in the pub from inside the house, but says it was too fast to make out the lyrics.

On another occasion she could hear “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys being played from the pub.

The licence says music in the pub should not be loud enough to be heard in neighbouring homes.

She said: “The existing conditions are suitable, but if the manager, the DPS and the licence holders don’t adhere to those conditions then revoking the licence is the only way to stop the noise.”

Chair Councillor Malcolm Slater asked: “One a scale of one to 10, one being the licence is fine and 10 being that the licensing objectives are not being met at all, where would you put this pub?”

Miss Haworth said: “10.”

Cllr Slater said: “Are there any examples of other non-compliant pubs in the district?”

She replied: “We regularly get complaints, but this is the only pub recently that has come to this stage. Most pubs tend to comply when we raise concerns.”

Cllr Slater raised a claim that Mr York had raised in a letter to the Council that “certain people” in the Council wanted the pub shut by any means possible.

Miss Howarth said: “We just want the business to comply and make sure they aren’t causing problems for local residents. We don’t want this premises to close, but we’ve tried everything we can to persuade them to adhere to the conditions.”

City Solicitor Richard Winter asked how this pub compared to other pubs across the district when it came to enforcing its licence. Miss Haworth said: “This is one of the worst premises I’ve had dealings with.”

Two local Councillors, Rosie Watson and David Warburton, were at the meeting to speak on behalf of a number of residents. They said they had been spoken to about issues over late night music, but that many residents did not want to come forward to officially complain.

Cllr Watson said: “I understand that 10pm is quite early to have to stop playing music, but if that’s the rule then stick to it.”

Cllr Warburton added: “We like to see businesses thrive, however we also have to look at the concerns of local people that live here.”

He said he had ‘grave concerns’ about the pub.

Mary Lyons spoke on behalf of the pub. She said Mr York had taken on the Wyke Rose in 2017, and turned it around from a pub associated with crime and disorder to an important part of the local community. She said: “A lot of elderly people are now coming back to the pub, they feel it is a safe environment.

“We take the licence seriously, every DJ, every member of staff know about the 10pm licence. Running a pub is very difficult to do, he is trying to run a business for the community.

Everyone’s idea of noise is different. Living near a pub you should expect a certain level of noise.”

She said customers of the pub had told her they once heard Miss Howarth saying she ‘wanted to see the pub closed down’ while she was in the Wyke Rose.

Miss Howarth questioned this, pointing out that the only time she had been in the pub was when the equipment was being seized – when the business was shut and there were no customers, and when she met with the managers and licence holders.

She added: “I don’t want the pub shut down, I want people to comply with the law.”

The panel was told that a petition asking if people wanted to see the pub remain open, which was taken door to door by Mr York, had been signed by 72 people.

Mr York said: “You try your best and sometimes you get punished for it.”

A DJ who plays at the pub on Fridays, Mr Huffinley said he did not feel the noise coming from the pub was overly loud.

He suggested that the noise might be coming from the houses of people living to the rear of the pub and the nearby Crown Pub.

Looking at a map of Wyke Mr Winter said: “Do you not think it is very unlikely, if not impossible, that a qualified Environmental Health officer would mistake music coming from the Crown as coming from this pub?”

Mrs Kitson was asked what her role in supervising the pub was. She said she visits two or three times a week during the day. She said she only found out about the licensing review on Monday.

The panel pointed out that if she only visited during the day she would not have a grasp on how the pub was being operated in the evening.

After a deliberation, Cllr Slater said: “Having considered all options, we decide to revoke the licence, the reasons being there has been a failure to comply with the licensing conditions.

“The panel is not confident that the current management will take appropriate steps to implement the required changes to satisfy the licensing objectives.”