Licensed operators of pubs and restaurants should consider objecting to new residential or office blocks planned near their business, even if it could bring in more customers.
That's the unusual advice from legal experts Poppleston Allen, which has warned that more and more local residents are moving into an area and then complaining about noise from nearby pubs and eateries, even if the business was there first.
Clare Eames, a partner at the firm, warned that a complaint from just one resident could prompt a full review of a premises' licence, which could result in a restriction of no live music, or a curfew on drinkers in the beer garden.
Meanwhile, environmental health officers could slap a premises with a Noise Abatement Notice which could see a licensed premises taken to court and fined up to £20,000 if the complaints continued.
She encouraged licensed operators to avoid the danger of heavy fines and other sanctions to either object to the principle of the development for being too close to a licensed premises, or to suggest conditions on the design or layout of the new building in order to minimise the effect of noise from their venue, such as triple glazing and making sure that bedrooms do not look out on to pubs.
By Neil Gerrard
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