Pub fined £4,500 after telling drinkers to ‘whisper’ in garden due to noise complaints

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Michael Campbell infuriated his neighbours at the Hare and Hounds pub in Braintree, Essex when he extended its large garden to accommodate more customers. This increased its capacity from just 46 indoors to 300 both inside and out.

Campbell, 27, dismissed the complaints and accused them of “whinging” in a sarcastic sign which said they “forget they live next door to a pub and not a library”.

The landlord, who took over the pub in 2018, has now been ordered to pay £4,500 after admitting 10 breaches of a council order to reduce noise in the beer garden.

He has said there were breaches “in the opinion of other people”.

The pub owner added: “I’m just glad we could get this over and done with. Now we can just crack on.

“We accepted there were breaches, in the opinion of other people, and they fined us £250 for each breach.

“We have new neighbours and the new people are absolutely lovely, they’re wonderful.”

He added: “We’re just a small business trying to survive.”

The banner read: “Dear customers, can we please ask that you WHISPER whilst in our garden.

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“This is due to the fact that we have some NEIGHBOURS that forget they live next door to a PUB and not a LIBRARY and have nothing better to do than run to the COUNCIL and WHINGE.”

MWC Pubs, which is owned by Mr Campbell and runs the pub, was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Jan 7).

A spokesman for Braintree Council said: “Following a number of noise complaints and visits from the council who witness the breaches, a noise abatement notice was issued to the premises which is still in force.

“We take noise nuisance seriously and while we always act on complaints and try to find ways to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction, in this case, it was not possible.

“The business failed to comply with the notice which resulted in 10 breaches taking place.”

Speaking to EssexLive in June, as news of the complaints emerged, Mr Campbell said: “Don’t get me wrong I appreciate that just because you live next to a pub doesn’t mean you are not entitled to peace and quiet.

“But common sense says if you live next to a pub, weekends are going to be busy and noisy especially when it has such a large pub garden.”

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