Southend bar set to take noise row to court

A bar is set to go to war with Southend City Council in court after an attempt to revoke its licence for allegedly failing to heed warnings not to play music.

Twelve Brunch and Cocktails, in Clifftown Road, has been hit by complaints from a nearby resident and has been accused of playing music despite being ordered not to by Southend Council.

The council’s licensing committee has ruled the licence should be revoked, but an appeal has been lodged by owner Christopher Brown and the case will be heard at a magistrates’ court. The bar will remain open until that hearing.

The premises licence was transferred to Mr Brown in May 2023, a month after the bar was ordered to stop playing music, and £16,000 has been invested in sound-proofing since.

Mr Brown said: “We’ve done lots of surveys and acoustic work. The council appraised it and everyone’s happy.

“We need support from the community. A lot of people come to our place. It feels like it was everyone in that hearing against us. We’ve done the work already and we were shut over the new year just to get the work done and still this has happened.

“We’ve appealed it so it suspends judgement until that hearing is heard. We’re still going to keep running. The hearing will likely be held in six months.”

The licensing committee hearing on Friday heard that Southend Council’s environmental health team installed recording equipment in the home of a nearby resident who had complained about music at the bar.

Since having the music licence revoked, the bar had applied for a series of temporary event notices but licensing officers said breaches occurred on days when no temporary notice was in place.

Mr Brown said the bar was closed on those occasions and they had been testing new sound-limiting equipment.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “The sub-committee regarded this situation as serious and took the view that the licence holder had failed in his duty to comply with the conditions on the premises licence and the licensing legislation.

“Due to the gravity of the situation and taking into account promotion of the licensing objectives relating to prevention of public nuisance and prevention of crime and disorder, including acting as a deterrent in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003, the sub-committee believed the only appropriate course of action to ensure that the promotion of the licensing objectives was to revoke the premises licence.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter