Hove pub can stay open later despite neighbour’s complaints

A pub in Hove can open later at weekends despite complaints from neighbours about noise, rowdiness and broken glass.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Garden Bar can start selling alcohol at 10am and serve drinks until 1am the following morning. Previously it stopped serving at midnight.

The premises, in Portland Road, Hove, must close by 1.30am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The move follows an application to Brighton and Hove City Council by Abiru Ltd which owns the pub.

Abiru director Peter Wilson put his case to a council licensing panel made up of three councillors – one Labour, one Green and one Conservative.

At a hearing earlier this month, councillors were told that neighbours objected to the proposed extended opening times, saying that they were disturbed by noise from the pub’s garden late at night.

They were also concerned at the prospect of music blaring out in an area of dense housing where dozens of families live, many with young children.

Mr Wilson said that it was the first time that he had been made aware of any problems with noise.

The panel said in its decision letter: “It was clear from those objecting that it was the beer garden that was the cause of most of the issues for them.

“During the hearing the applicant, Mr Wilson, made a number of proposals in relation to the garden and was keen to sort out issues.

“It was stressed that they were not interested in playing loud music outside and that at most it was likely to be an occasional acoustic set in the late afternoon or early evening.

“He was willing to commit to not having speakers in the garden though legally this could not be a condition due to deregulation of entertainment.”

The pub previously had permission to allow drinkers in the garden until 11.30pm although the licensing panel was told that the garden was always closed by 11pm.

Mr Wilson said that he would be happy for the licence to include a condition that the garden closed at 11pm and the panel accepted the offer.

Children can also stay in the pub until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, provided those under 16 are accompanied by an adult and stay out in the garden no later than 9pm.

Mr Wilson said that allowing children in the pub after 8pm gave families more time to eat together or attend function such as wedding receptions.

From Sunday to Thursday, children under 16 will have to leave by 8pm – as before.

Mr Wilson agreed to set up a “hotline” for neighbours so that they would have a mobile phone number to call should noise get out of hand.

A further condition requires a “senior representative” of the licence holder to attend residents’ group meetings on request to discuss any continuing problems with the pub.

At the panel hearing 10 days ago (Friday 19 June), Mr Wilson said that a noise limiter had been installed on the premises.

As part of the licence conditions, an environmental protection officer will set it an “appropriate level”.

The Garden Bar was formerly known as the Noble House, Jamaica Inn and the Golden Cross.

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