Chelmsford party house owners pledge to act on noise disturbance issues

The owners of a Chelmsford party house have pledged to ‘minimise noise disturbance’ as the council raises concerns over a lack of regulation.

Great Baddow residents have complained to the council over drunken and antisocial behaviour generated by guests staying at the historic former Kings Head pub transformed last year into a one-of-a-kind staycation destination with a focus on bridal parties.

Although wedding bookings are a large part of this business, it can be booked for all kinds of celebrations such as milestone birthdays for up to 18 adults.

Chelmsford City Council have confirmed public health and protection services has received complaints of noise from residents but while officers have been called out the noise has abated by the time arrived.

The issue was raised at Chelmsford cabinet on January 25 by Great Baddow resident Jeff Jones who said concerns had been raised over the business model before it opened last year.

He told councillors: “The summer was particularly bad as guests could spill out from the property into the garden where their activities were more intrusive to those houses that were in close proximity to their garden.

“We’ve had to endure loud music and raucous and sometimes drunken and antisocial behaviour.”

He said he had particular concern that there was no licensing requirements and guests could stay up drinking as late was they wanted with loud music.

Those concerns were repeated by Councillor Rose Moore, cabinet member for a greener and safer Chelmsford, over the potential for additional properties to be opened as party venues.

She said: “There are no requirements for any licence to be in place where guests bring alcohol to or consume their own alcohol on the premises or indeed to play music at the property.

“I have to say I find that problematic and I wonder if we may see more of these party venues springing up. So I would be very happy to take this out of the meeting and consult with our environmental health officers to see what steps we may take to investigate further.”

The venue has its own karaoke room and a cocktail bar. The garden features a large hot tub, a luxury dining pod, and a decked barbecue area. A one night stay on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays costs £2,100.

Officers from public health and protection services have relayed details of the complaints made to the council back to the owners.

Cllr Moore added: “The owners have subsequently advised a number of measures they have in place to minimise noise disturbance from the people who let their property which includes not accepting bookings for certain parties, rules on vacating the garden by 10pm, CCTV in the properties so the owners are able to monitor and check what is happening.

“And our duty officers also have the contact details for the owners of Essex days if they feel they do need to contact them.

“So in conclusion I would ask that residents please continue to contact the council’s out of ours noise service swiftly when you’re disturbed by noise in order that the officers can visit and make an assessment as quickly as possible and to assure you that the council is committed to dealing with any unreasonable noise. And if a statutory nuisance is witnessed we will take appropriate formal action.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter