Row over noise sees Hayling Island's West Town Inn and neighbours at loggerheads

Hayling Island residents have got behind a pub after it was warned not to have any music played outside.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 11:43 pm

The West Town Inn has received 1,500 signatures in a change.org petition after three local residents complained about noise disturbance. It comes after a row over live music at the Hi-Fest charity music festival last summer.

The petition in favour of the pub says: ‘Havant Brough Council needs to address this ridiculous enforcement notice that does not reflect the views of the majority of local residents.’

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The West Town Inn Picture: Sam Stephenson

The premises licence holder and pub manager, Maxine Demetriou said: ‘It started a year ago, one of the neighbours from over the back of us came and faced up to me and called me all the names under the sun, screamed and shouted and threatened - It was all for Hi-Fest which is a charity on the island.

‘I’ve now got a letter about environmental hazards because it was loud.

‘Now they want us to keep our doors and windows shut, the music isn’t allowed to leave the building.

‘I shut the pub earlier to keep the noise from leaving the pub - I’m licensed until midnight.

From left, Pam Hutchinson from Hayling Lions, Mayor Cllr Rosie Raines and Maxine Demetriou from the West Town Inn at the opening of Hi Fest last year Picture: Sam Stephenson

‘Even though I stopped all the fights, barred 40 per cent of the trade which was the trouble here and cleaned it up, I still can’t run it how it should be run.

‘I’m not breaking any rules by having music but it’s how it travels.

‘I stopped doing it - if my customers can’t come in and out of the door and I get too stressed keeping everybody quiet.’

A local resident, who didn’t want to be named said: ‘I did complain, there’s several that did.

‘The last year it’s been fine because they’ve not been allowed to have outside music.

‘It’s just a ludicrous petition - how can you do a petition to people who come from afar to make noise at someone else’s place.’

When asked about an alleged incident involving an ill-tempered confrontation the resident added: ‘I did ask them very impolitely to turn the music down.

‘If she says people are being abusive - I might have told her to turn her effing music off but I wasn't abusive to her, she’s hyped it up a bit.

‘I don’t care whether it’s for charity or what, if you don’t ask people first and then just blare music when you want... for a lot of people it’s their weekends.'

A Havant Borough Council spokesperson said that licensed pubs have a duty to control excess noise to avoid public nuisance.

‘As regards The West Town Inn, complaints of excessive noise were received last summer; council officers heard the noise for themselves when they inspected the premises at around that time.

‘In view of this, it was therefore agreed with the individual responsible for the running of the pub that she would provide the council with a noise management plan.

‘This was so that the council and the pub could agree on the introduction of reasonable to reduce the impact of any future noise.

‘Unfortunately, the plan received fell short of what is required, and the council has therefore asked for a revised version to be supplied.’