Pub landlord fined for sarcastic sign in response to ‘whinging’ noise complaints

A pub owner has been fined after sarcastically telling punters in the beer garden to "whisper" due to neighbours' noise complaints.

Michael Campbell, 27, got in a row with locals last summer after accusing them of "whinging" about noise at the Hare and Hounds pub in Braintree, Essex.

He erected a tongue-in-cheek sign asking customers to "whisper" as there were neighbours who "forgot they live next door to a pub and not a library".

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

During lockdown last year the pub converted its large garden to accommodate customers – increasing capacity from just 46 indoors to 300 both inside and out.

Michael said he accepted there were breaches "in the opinion of other people".

The pub owner said: "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."

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MWC Pubs, which is owned by Michael and runs the pub, was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on January 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."

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