Ongar pub to be fitted with noise limiter after neighbours’ complaints

An Essex pub will be fitted with a sound limiter to control the volume of live and recorded music, after neighbours complained about “unbearable” noise.

The Stag, in Ongar regained its licence to sell alcohol earlier today (March 1) after its old one lapsed due to a miscommunication between the old and new owners.

The applicants said they followed environmental guidelines with regards to noise and never exceeded maximum limits.

Recorded and live music, as well as films and indoor sporting events, are also permitted by new licence, despite claims by some residents they could hear bass frequencies throb through the walls of their homes during past events.

Live music will be allowed until 11pm, but tenant Michael Tingey said events always finished before 8pm.

Members of Epping Forest District Council’s licensing committee said the condition of a limiter would prevent public nuisance and was “reasonable and proportionate”.

18 representations in support of the application were received by the council ahead of today’s meeting, alongside 12 objections.

Speaking in support of the application, Councillor Paul Keska (Con, Chipping Ongar) said it had only needed to go before the committee because of an “extraordinary breakdown in communication” between McMullen, who used to own the pub, and the current owners.

He said: “The Stag is a family pub for people in the south of Ongar

“It is their local pub, it has regained a reputation for food and has a large garden very popular with families with young children.”

He later said: “The tenant is also happy to accept reductions on the timing of outdoor music which he understands could be a problem to his neighbours.”

But residents appearing at the meeting expressed their dissatisfaction with how the pub had been run since the new owners took over from McMullen.

Christine Duyt told the committee: “The noise is unbelievable and the behaviour of the children in the garden who are obviously being no supervised by their parents who are drinking.

“It’s the noise and the kids sitting on the back fence throwing things at cars coming up and down Brentwood Road.”

She later said: “It has changed since  you’ve been running it and the volume of noise is beyond anything it’s ever been before.”

Mr Tingey said he had witnessed children throwing objects once and had responded by approaching parents and telling them to supervise the children.

The provision of films from Monday to Sunday was reduced from 11pm to 9.30pm, but otherwise all other activities were granted as applied for.

It will be open between Sunday and Thursday, 10am to 12am, and Friday to Saturday, 10am to 1.30am.

The Stag’s licence lapsed towards the end of 2021, due to an administrative issue in transferring it from the old owners to the new.

The new licence has come into effect immediately.

Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter