Luxury hotel in St Albans blasted again for fireworks noise

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 October 2014

Sopwell House Hotel

Sopwell House Hotel

Archant

A second firework display at a top St Albans hotel has infuriated neighbours because of the noise and the lateness of the hour.

Sopwell House Hotel came under fire in August when a loud fireworks display could be heard as far away as Kinsbourne Green in Harpenden and was likened by some to the Buncefield explosion in Hemel Hempstead in 2005.

On Friday night the hotel held another firework display at around 10.30pm which, even though the hotel posted details of the display on Facebook and Twitter last week, caught many nearby residents unaware.

One of them, Carol Wray, said the fireworks only lasted about 15 minutes but there were a lot of bangs and the sound had really travelled across the Mandeville playing fields to where she lives.

She said: “You can have a nice firework display without bangs but they are obviously capitalising on people liking fireworks. Although the hotel is in a rural location, it is in the middle of two pretty big estates, Whitecross and New Barnes and Cottonmill and St Julians.

Carol, 65, said her cat shot under the table when the display started and birds roosting in the oak tree in her garden flew off as soon as the bangs began.,

She phoned the hotel to complain and they had apologised profusely to her. But she added: “I have lived here for 40 years and they are more regular and much louder now.”

Another complainant Peter Wilson asked how Sopwell House could think it acceptable to have a fireworks display at that time of night in a residential area and questioned whether the hotel could call itself a responsible local business.

A spokesperson for Sopwell House said Friday’s fireworks had been arranged by a corporate client who used a regular company which had supplied fireworks at the hotel for around four years without complaint.

She went on: “A number of local residents have conceded that there has been no issue in the past and fireworks have previously been thorougly enjoyed in many cases.

“Therefore, with the exception of the fireworks in August for which we have apologised, we do not anticipate changing this regular supplier who have also been made fully aware of local resident feedback.”

She said that although the hotel would consider to use social media to advise on firework displays, for those who did not have access, there would be fireworks on Bonfire Night, November 5, and New Year’s Eve.

Anyone wishing to add their personal details to the hotel’s database for advanced notice of fireworks is asked to send their details direct to the hoptel or email enquiries@sopwellhouse.co.uk

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