St Albans Bar gets noise breach warning

The Brickyard pub

The Brickyard pub - Credit: Archant

Complaints about the noisy and rowdy behaviour of patrons visiting a new cocktail bar in St Albans have resulted in a rap over the knuckles for its owner.

James Hanning, who owns The Brickyard in Verulam Road, has been given a warning letter from St Albans district council about allegedly breaching licensing conditions.

The reprimand has been revealed among documents responding to a request submitted by James for a minor change to his premises licence.

He wants smokers to be allowed to use the front courtyard after 11pm but without taking alcoholic drinks outside.

Currently the external patio and garden area have to be vacated by 11pm.

The amendment was to be discussed yesterday morning (Thursday) at a licensing sub-committee meeting.

In response, the council’s environmental compliance officer has recommended the committee reject the change because of the site’s proximity to homes and the likelihood it would “give rise to further noise nuisance complaints being received”.

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A report from Karen Hollands, business compliance officer, licensing, explains that James was sent a letter detailing breaches in relation to people smoking outside, rowdy behaviour and swearing from customers, dating from New Year’s Eve when a neighbour complained about music at 2am.

This occurred over a month after the licensing committee gave James the go-ahead to open the bar.

Karen set out seven alleged breaches of licence conditions in her “final written warning” adding, “any further breaches will result in further enforcement action being taken and could result in a prosecution being sought”.

One complaint was from a neighbour who said they heard music at 1.45am on January 4, but a noise officer who visited around that time found the premises closed.

James, who attracted complaints from neighbours before opening the bar, formerly a rundown pub, The Spotted Bull, said he believed none of the complaints have been substantiated.

He said: “I’m unhappy about receiving the warning letter about alleged breaches. My lawyer has written to the council clarifying the legal position, but the compliance officer has chosen to take a different view.”