Noise fears allayed for Nayland pub festival

A PUB festival will go ahead this weekend despite calls for it to be cancelled over noise fears.

Plans for the three-day event at the Anchor Inn in Nayland were left in the balance following objections by an environmental officer at Babergh District Council.

James Buckingham said the festival, which is to be held in the pub’s garden and is expected to attract 300 people on each day, would disturb residents living nearby as loud music would be played late into the night.

“My principal concern is the live music, amplified in the open air for periods of up to 12 hours, three days in a row,” said Mr Buckingham during the council’s licensing sub-committee meeting on Monday.

Mr Buckingham said there had been numerous complaints about music at the pub during the last decade, and there was potential for more with the festival due to run until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11.30pm on Sunday.

“There is significant potential for a repeat of this noise nuisance and there is limited time for negotiations, so we are unable to impose conditions,” he said.

James Hagger, operations manager at Exclusive Inns, which took over the 15th century pub in April, said the application was misleading, pledging that music would be played no later than 10pm.

“The event is more family-orientated than the application suggests,” he said.

“Being a new licensee, we wanted to do something for the community. We respect there have been issues with previous owners, but we have never had any problems ourselves.”

Mr Hagger said that only one band or singer would be performing on each day and all had an acoustic style.

He added that the village’s councillors had given the event their backing and neighbours had been approached.

“We have a good relationship with neighbours and councillors and don’t want to jeopardise that,” he said.

After hearing Mr Hagger’s report, Mr Buckingham said he had no desire to stop a community event and was prepared to reconsider his view.

“I suggest we take this at face value and trust what Mr Hagger has said,” he added.

Following a brief discussion, the committee granted the event licence.